sportsmanship in kids
April 21, 2024

How to Encourage Healthy Competition and Sportsmanship in Kids

In the arena of childhood development, few things offer a blend of excitement, growth, and life lessons quite like sports and healthy competition. For parents and caregivers, navigating this landscape involves more than just cheering from the sidelines—it's about instilling values of teamwork, resilience, and sportsmanship that extend far beyond the game. 

Join us on a journey into the heart of nurturing healthy competition and sportsmanship in kids, where victories go hand in hand with character building, and every challenge becomes an opportunity for growth.

What is good sportsmanship for kids?

Good sportsmanship for kids goes beyond winning or losing; it's about integrity, respect, and fairness. It involves showing kindness and consideration towards teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials. It's about playing by the rules, accepting outcomes graciously, and striving for personal improvement while supporting others.

What are 5 examples of good sportsmanship?

  • Congratulating opponents after a game, regardless of the outcome
  • Offering a helping hand to an injured teammate or opponent
  • Respecting officials' decisions and refraining from arguing or complaining
  • Encouraging and supporting teammates, even in challenging moments
  • Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of everyone involved in the sport, including coaches and volunteers

What are signs of bad sportsmanship?

Signs of bad sportsmanship in kids may include:

  • Displaying anger, frustration, or hostility towards teammates, opponents, or officials
  • Blaming others for mistakes or failures instead of taking responsibility
  • Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct such as taunting, trash-talking, or cheating
  • Reacting negatively to losses, such as sulking, throwing equipment, or making excuses
  • Disregarding rules or engaging in behavior that puts others at risk or harms the spirit of the game

What to do when your child has bad sportsmanship?

  • Model good sportsmanship in your own behavior, both on and off the field
  • Discuss the importance of sportsmanship with your child and how their actions impact others
  • Clearly outline what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable during sports activities
  • Praise and encourage your child when they demonstrate good sportsmanship
  • If your child displays bad sportsmanship, address the behavior immediately and discuss consequences or corrective actions
  • Emphasize the value of learning from mistakes, improving skills, and respecting others in sports and in life
Sportsmanship in Kids

Final thoughts on instilling sportsmanship in kids

When it comes down to it, fostering healthy competition and sportsmanship in kids not only enhances their athletic abilities but also shapes them into respectful, resilient people who carry these invaluable traits beyond the playing field, enriching their lives and communities.

Please note that any advice shared here is general in nature, and we recommend checking in with a professional in regard to your child’s needs.

For more tips and tricks on topics like raising kids to be resilient, feel free to contact us or read our Dewey Does blog. Don’t forget, if your whole family want to look amazing while you’re out there living your best life, we make a whole range of inspiring novelty tees that can add a touch of fun and color. Speaking of fun and color, be sure to check out our super cool interactive logo!

While you’re here, we’d really love to hear what you have to say about sportsmanship in kids. Drop us your two cents below.

Hi, Team Does. I get all my sports news and updates from my friend Tommy Ommy, host of Straight from the Basement Sports Podcast. Be sure to follow him wherever you get your podcasts and check out his YouTube channel for sports news and conversations - Dewey.

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