Being a good sport means being a gracious winner as well as a gracious loser. Losing is no fun and many children have a hard time losing. Some even demonstrate unacceptable behaviors such as throwing things and stomping off the game area.
Being a good sport is a life skill as well as a social skill that children need to develop early in life as it will help them in so many life situations.
According to the United States Olympic Committee’s education program of 2007 on sportsmanship, a real athlete is a good sport. In the education materials the Olympic Committee gives the following definition of what it means to be a good sport:
An athlete who is a good sport is someone whose conduct and attitude demonstrate gracious behavior before, during, and after competition. In fact, good sportsmanship demands that nothing be done before, during, or after a game to cheapen or detract from victory.
In yesterday’s “Can Do” Kids’ blog, Coach Campbell speaks with Hector about his behavior after losing a ping pong match and explains good sportsmanship.
The following resources can help a parent, teacher or coach help a child to understand the need for good sportsmanship and the ability to develop the attitude of a good sport.
Real Athletes are Good Sports:
Kids’ Poster: “Being a good sport makes you a winner.”
Lesson Materials for Teachers from:
“Olympic Spirit,” slideshow
Source: Ned Campbell, History Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach, James Madison High School, Brooklyn, NY