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Sportsmanship Starts Outside of Sports

By TrueSport, 08/01/17, 1:15PM CDT

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6 Ways Parents Can Teach Sportsmanship…Even If You Don’t ‘Get’ Sports

When adults talk about how to model and teach sportsmanship, we often compartmentalize the discussion to sport. After all, it’s in the word: sports-man-ship. When you take a step back, however, sportsmanship is good behavior and communication in any context.

Children model their behavior and communication styles from what they see and experience, most notably from parents.

Your children emulate the way you behave and communicate at home and in stores and restaurants, as well as to people in authority and to people you have authority over.

All of this translates into the way they interact with teammates, opponents, referees, and coaches in youth sports. Raising a good sport on the field starts by showing kids what being a good sport looks like off of it.

Play by the Rules

We know you have your rebellious streak, but remember the real world runs by a set of rules the same way a sport does. If, as a parent, you behave as if the rules don’t apply to you, your young athlete is likely to believe the same is true for him or her. This applies to laws (rules of the game) like stopping at stop signs, as well as cultural norms (traditions) like waiting your turn and not cutting in line.

If as a parent you behave as if the rules don’t apply to you, your young athlete is likely to believe the same is true for him or her. This applies to laws like stopping at stop signs, as well as cultural norms like waiting your turn and not cutting in line.

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About TrueSport

TrueSport® is a grassroots movement born and powered by the experience and values of USADA–the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The TrueSport® mission is simple and bold: to change the culture of youth sport by providing powerful educational tools to equip young athletes with the resources to build the life skills and core values for lasting success on and off the field.

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