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What is Sportmanship?

Sportsmanship is not giving up even at the last second.

Listen to your coach & trust him enough to follow his advice.

Shake hands even though the match is not up to your expectations.

Respect the referee's decision.




Fly high

Against all odds

Go with the flow

Have the courage

You are not alone



When Becca's team lost the county championship, she was disappointed. But she wasn't prepared for the reaction of some of her teammates. "It wasn't fair," said one. "The referee was for their side."

"And did you see the way their center played? She was pitiful! They never should have won," added another. Turning to Becca, she asked, "What did you think of the game?"

It wasn't easy, but Becca took a deep breath and told the truth. "I think they were really good," she admitted. "I'm not happy we lost, but I think we did our best. They just played better than we did today."

Good Sportsmanship - A Sign of Maturity
Becca's response showed that she had learned more than just athletic skills during the years that she had played on her team. She had also acquired an understanding of what good sportsmanship is all about.

Some people define good sportsmanship as the "golden rule" of sports - in other words, treating the people that you play with and against as you'd like to be treated yourself. You demonstrate good sportsmanship when you show respect for yourself, your teammates, and your opponents, for the coaches on both sides, and for the referees, judges, and other officials. Good sportsmanship takes maturity and courage; when you work really hard at a sport, it's not easy to admit that you made a bad play or that someone has more skills than you do.

Teens who have learned good sportsmanship usually find that the positive attitude they've learned on the field carries over into other areas of their lives. At school, for example, they're able to appreciate the contributions made by their classmates and they know how to work as part of a team to complete a project. They may enjoy more success at work as well, because good sports are respectful of others, including customers and coworkers.

Win or Lose, Sportsmanship Helps You Get Through
It can be just as hard to be a good sport when you've won a game as when you've lost one. You've probably seen athletes who take their own successes too seriously. They celebrate a goal with a prolonged victory dance or constantly brag about their abilities. After a while, you get tired of hearing them talk about how great they are.


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Last modified: February 01, 2005