What Is Good Sportsmanship?
Good sportsmanship is when teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials treat each other with respect. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially their parents and their coaches. Kids who see adults behaving in a sportsmanlike way gradually come to understand that the real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity — whether they win or lose a game.
Displaying good sportsmanship isn't always easy: It can be tough to congratulate the opposing team after losing a close or important game. But the kids who learn how to do it will benefit in many ways.
Kids who bully or taunt others on the playing field aren't likely to change their behavior when in the classroom or in social situations. In the same way, a child who practices good sportsmanship is likely to ...view middle of the document...
Sportsmanship typically is regarded as a component of morality in sport, composed of three related and perhaps overlapping concepts: fair play, sportsmanship and character. Fair play refers to all participants having an equitable chance to pursue victory and acting toward others in an honest, straightforward, and a firm and dignified manner even when others do not play fairly. It includes respect for others including team members, opponents, and officials. Character refers to dispositions, values and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures and successes and is typically seen in polite behaviors toward others such as helping an opponent up or shaking hands after a match. An individual is believed to have a “good character” when those dispositions and habits reflect core ethical values. An example of poor sportsmanship is exemplified in a team's calling timeouts to run up the score on an opponent when the former team already has a sizeable lead.
Sportsmanship can be conceptualized as an enduring and relatively stable characteristic or disposition such that individuals differ in the way they are generally expected to behave in sport situations. In general, sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage and persistence and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control in dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents.
A competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after losing a game or contest is often called a "sore loser" (those who show poor sportsmanship after winning are typically called "bad winners"). Behavior includes blaming others, not taking responsibility for personal actions, reacting immaturely or improperly, making excuses for their loss, referring to unfavorable conditions or other petty issues. A bad winner is when the victor of a game acts in a shallow fashion such as gloating about their win or rubbing it in the face of the one who lost.