Tips to teach kids good sportsmanship
Written by Greg Chertok, M.Ed., CC-AASP
Member of ACSM
It is far easier to demonstrate good sportsmanship when there is not an exaggerated emphasis on winning and a perpetual focus on results & outcome.
Over the years, the Youth Sports Institute has surveyed thousands of children aged 10-18 regarding their feelings about sports, and winning has never been the most important reason. It hasn’t even been among the top 7 or 8 reasons for playing a sport.
The emphasis on winning, most often, is modeled from those who are prominently featured in children’s lives, like parents, teaches and coaches. Such role models can teach kids how to become good sports through their own actions.
To diminish the importance on winning, it is important to express support and encouragement not only for good performance but for good effort. Developing a mastery motivational climate should be prioritized.
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Greg Chertok, M.Ed., CC-AASP Member of ACSM: Greg Chertok is currently a Sport Psychology Counselor and Fitness Trainer at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. He received his B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and M.Ed. in Counseling specializing in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Boston University in 2007.
Note: The views expressed in ACSM Olympics Hot Topics are those of the contributors only, and should not be construed as official statements of the American College of Sports Medicine.
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