Most Coaches Have Failed at Teaching Good Sportsmanship

  • 2 replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Most Coaches Have Failed at Teaching Good Sportsmanship
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:29:22 AM »
I think some coaches have forgotten or never knew the real definition of Good Sportsmanship.  So let me set the record straight.  Good sportsmanship is the aspiration to enjoy a sport for its own sake.  To enjoy a sport not because of the wins, trophies, or bragging rights it will bring.  Rather to play a sport for the purpose of learning more about yourself and growing as a person.  

Many coaches miss the mark when it comes to teaching sportsmanship.  They go through the motions.  They tell players to not curse, shake hands after a game, and not yell at the ref, rarely explaining their importance.  Rarely explaining how good sportsmanship helps you grow as a person, on and off the field.  Here are some thoughts coaches forget to tell their players when teaching sportsmanship.
Don't Curse
I hear coaches all over the country tell their players not to curse.  I remember when I was that age and the only thing that went through my mind was, "Why Not?"  How does my cursing affect anyone?  I wish I had just one coach that sat me down and explained the reason why not cursing was important.  Well here it is for those of you wondering.  Cursing takes your mind away from the present.  Instead of using 100% of your energy dealing with the issue that you are upset about, you are busy using part of your energy cursing about it and living in the past.  This is an invaluable life skill that players should learn while playing sports.      

Shake Hands after a Game
Shaking hands after a game is more than just a formality.  In truth it is thanking your competitor for helping you grow as an individual.  You are thanking your opponent for creating challenges that you had to overcome.  Without these challenges, an athlete can not grow as a person on or off the field.  Coaches need to explain this to players.  Think about how this will change your players state of mind.  Instead of thinking that opponents are negative components of the game, your players will think of them as positive components of the game put their to help them grow.  I would hate playing a team with that mentality!
Donít Yell at the Ref
All a coach is doing when they yell at a ref is conveying to their players that their problems are someone else's fault.  Coaches need to teach their players to focus on what needs to be done to overcome a challange.  Sit down with your team and explain to them that when a ref makes a bad call, it is a great opportunity for them to practice growing as a person.  Bad Calls are Great Opportunities!  
Be a Gracious Loser
I used to think that in order for my coach not to get on my case after a loss, I had to act extremely upset and make everyone's life miserable when they were around me.  What a colossal waste of energy!  I wished my coach had explained to me the importance of being a gracious loser.  I wished he had said that winning or losing is not what is important.  What I learned during the game was the important part.  This could be a new technical skill or improving my teamwork abilities.  The funny thing is that if every player on a team focused all of their energy on improving and not on the results, that team would be unstoppable!  

By Posted by Byron Rausenberger at

Re: Most Coaches Have Failed at Teaching Good Sportsmanship
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 06:10:56 AM »
I absolutely 100% the end, it's just a pet peeve is yelling at umpires, though I love to see the opposing coach doing it..........beside setting a bad example for your kids, it's terrible from a competitive standpoint.  You will not get the call changed and your team will not get the next borderline most cases, particularly with young umps, be ready for another bad call.

Re: Most Coaches Have Failed at Teaching Good Sportsmanship
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 09:59:25 AM »
I mostly agree with what both of you are saying.  However, I have had a few conversations with umpires when it regards to player safety.  I had an issue with a team bulldogging earlier this year that injured two of my players.  The first was called out, however the second wasn't and there was nothing done to resolve the issue.  So I was pretty upset, when it comes to player safety, something had to be said, especially considering there was malicious intent with both cases.