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Middle Level Sportsmanship Content


Middle Level Sportsmanship

Parent Guide

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.

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 plays made by others.  If we constantly pressure them to play better kids get the message that they’re only as good as their last good play.

Parents Should:

  • Clap for a good play, no matter which team accomplishes it.
  • Show respect for officials, opposing team members, coaches and spectators.
  • Don’t react to the win or loss alone. When your child comes home from a game ask: How did you play? Did you have fun? How did the team play? What did you do well? What could you do better next time?
  • Acknowledge superior skills in other players without comparing your child’s skills to their skills.
  • Define success as trying your hardest in effort and teamwork.
  • Cheer for your team no matter what.
  • Remember that they're just kids. Use constructive criticism, compliment, encourage and build them up.
  • Be sure your child accepts responsibility for errors and thinks about how he or she could avoid repeating the errors.
  • You may complain privately about the validity of a call, but never argue with the referees. Doing so undermines their authority, and shows a lack of respect for game officials.
  • Remember that the officials are doing the best they can.
  • Remember that the true purpose of organized sports is FUN, FUN, FUN!
  • Show them that you have good sportsmanship.
  • Continue to support their desire to be a part of something bigger – a team.
  • Remember we are being watched.  Our attitudes are contagious; ours are the ones we want them to catch, so reach out “Give Me 5!”

Children learn by watching – and as a parent you are a great teacher when it comes to sportsmanship.  If you play a sport – you need to show that you are a good sport.  Be positive – even if you have done something wrong.  Always think before you react – because their eyes and admiration are on you.  Show them how you want them to behave!

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  |   435 Main Ave S   |  Renton, WA 98057  |  (425) 687-8585  |  © 2019