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The Importance of Teaching Kids Good Sportsmanship

By Glen & Janee Henderson, Amazing Athletes, 02/21/19, 12:00PM CST

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Don’t just talk about good sportsmanship. Demonstrate it. Shake hands with the coach or parents of the opposing team or act out giving a congratulatory hi-five to an opponent even when you lose the game.

It’s no secret that children are especially impressionable. When it comes to good sportsmanship, kids look to their coaches and parents as examples of how to act. Developing good sportsmanship does more than show kids how to behave politely during and after a game. Sportsmanship impacts how children interact on and off the field. Good sportsmanship builds teamwork, character, and teaches respect, honor, discipline, kindness, inclusion, resilience, perseverance, and more.

The benefits of good sportsmanship are many. When kids enjoy active play, they look forward to sports and exercise as a chance to make new friends and develop new skills. Good sportsmanship encourages everyone to do their best, boosting confidence and showing the rewards of hard work, goal setting, and collaboration.