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Developing Sportsmanship In Children

Supreeti was in tears by the time the table tennis ended.It wasn't because her team had lost.Neither was it because she was unsatisfied with the way she had played the tournament.It wasn't even because of anything the other team had said or done.She cried because her dad yelled at her in front of all her teammates for missing the shot that could have otherwise saved the game.Parents at times tend to get so wrapped up in their child winning or losing a game that they lose sight of what's really important and land up upsetting their kids.They forget that one of the most important goals of kids' sports is to promote a sense of good sportsmanship.Good sportsmanship is the creation of an environment where opponents, officials, coaches and teammates treat each other with respect.Children tend to emulate their parents.They usually learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially from their parents and their coaches.Kids who see adults behaving in a sportsmanlike way gradually come to understand that the real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity - whether they win or lose a game.Even though parents themselves teach their children winning or losing a game is immaterial, but playing it in the right spirit is what counts, there are times when they become so emotional when their children are playing for a team.Parents can help their kids understand that good sportsmanship includes both small gestures and heroic efforts.It starts with something as simple as shaking hands with opponents before a game and includes acknowledging good moves that a rival has made throughout a game.Displaying good sportsmanship isn't always easy: it is very difficult to congratulate you opponent especially after losing an important game.However when children are taught to do it gracefully, it will carry the respect and appreciation of other people into every other aspect of life.Sometimes parents constantly pressurize their children to play well and if they don't do well, get angry with them this makes children feel that they're only good as long as they play well and that otherwise, nobody is bothered.Your behavior as a coach or parent encourages kids to play fair, to have fun, and to concentrate during practices and games will influence them more than any pep talk you give them.Here are some suggestions on how to build sportsmanship in your kids: 1.Unless you're coaching your child's team, you need to remember that you're the parent.Shout words of encouragement, not directions, from the sidelines (there is a difference!).2.Even if you coach your own kid's, don't expect too much out of them.3.Don't be harsh on your kids more than anyone else on the team, but don't play favorites either.4.Make positive comments.If you have a serious concern about the way the games or practice is being conducted, discuss it privately with the coach or with a league official.5.Do not harbor feelings of losing or winning on the games field in real life.Avoid grudges or any personal feelings associated with the game in real life.6.Applaud good moves in a game irrespective of the side.7.Remember that it's your kids, not you, who are playing.Don't push them into a sport.8.Keep your perspective.It's just a game.Even if the team loses every game of the season, it's unlikely to ruin your child's life or chances of success.Finally, don't forget to have fun.Even if your child isn't a sports star, enjoy the game.

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