How to show good sportsmanship

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Winning isn’t the most important part of team sports. Good sportsmanship is the primary goal.

Children and adults learn many valuable lessons while competing in sports. Participating in sports helps solidify lessons in following directions, and can teach athletes the value of dedicating themselves to goals. Sports also provide physical exercise and an opportunity to exhibit good sportsmanship.

A 2014 national survey of 2,000 youth sports parents and coaches by Liberty Mutual Insurance revealed that even though they believe sportsmanship is one of the most important lessons of youth sports, 50 percent of respondents feel that sportsmanship has worsened in youth sports since responding adults were children themselves. Some startling findings included 60 percent of respondents reporting either witnessing or participating in negative or abusive sideline behavior, and 55 percent of coaches have experienced parents yelling negatively at officials or their own children.

Good sportsmanship occurs when people who are participating and those observing the sport treat one another with respect. This includes all players, parents, coaches, and officials.



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