Teaching Sportsmanship Thru Sports

Teaching Sportsmanship at the Youth Level

The Business of Sport

While I must admit that I enjoy watching college and pro sports in TV, there is one aspect of that viewing experience I can do without. It is really difficult for me to enjoy the “celebrations” that are constantly seen throughout the games. It has become very apparent that the ultimate goal of sport has become winning and profits.  Some of the most selfish and “look at what I’ve done” behavior is tolerated on a daily basis at the highest level of sport.

This has been going on for quite a while now, and these antics are no longer surprising.  However, the concern is that these actions are now becoming commonplace and tolerated at the high school and youth level.

Why would we allow some of these actions to take place? In many cases, these are the best players on our team. Isn’t it amazing what we put up with so we can keep these “best” players happy? In the interest of winning, we seem to tolerate some behaviors that would never have been tolerated in years past. Our reasoning is that this is what the pros do, so it is just part of the game. My feeling is that we should not let outside influences erode our sense of right and wrong. Actions that bring attention to individuals are not to be tolerated.

Goal of Youth Level Sports

Coaching high school and youth level sports is an opportunity to challenge some of these behaviors. If the reason we coach is to teach the game to the kids and help them grow as people, then these selfish actions have no place in the game. We need to educate our parents and players how to behave and what we expect. The education part of this is really important. To simply not tolerate bad behavior is the start. But to get the kids and parents thinking about “why” this behavior is not conducive to team play or personal development is the key. The winning hit, goal, touchdown is not just due to the actions of one person, but, rather to the workings of many. In football, the touchdown is scored because of the blocks that came first. In volleyball, the big hit is due to the fine defensive play in the back row, followed by the fine play of a hustling setter. Big plays are the result of smaller actions. The fact that we score the winning touchdown is nice, but to celebrate the success as an individual accomplishment is a slap in the face of the rest of the team.

We need to remember that development of the players as people is a big part of what we do. We need ot challenge the kids and explain the significance of how to act. Hitting the game winning home run or scoring the winning touchdown is not a license to make the play about ourselves. Sports give us the opportunity to learn the lessons of life. Let’s not miss out on that opportunity. Teach the game as well as the life lessons. If we don’t, then where will our kids get this message!

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Leave A Reply (3 comments So Far)

  1. I REALLY enjoyed your post and blog! It took me a minute bit to stumble upon your site…but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I posted a link back to your site? I have a Political News Blog site of my own at White Rabbit Cult. Thanks!


  2. Glennie Hirst
    7 years ago

    Wonderful site, where did you come up with the information in this posting? I’m happy I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.


  3. mike
    6 years ago

    Great wright up. I preach this to young kids. This kind of behavior is killing the NBA