Sportsmanship Over Winning

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Encouraging kids to play sports at an early age does more than just develop their physical skills. Playing and competing on a team teaches kids valuable skills in sportsmanship that can be applied to every aspect of their lives. As your kids run, kick and score goals at summer camp, you may enjoy knowing they’re studying these five renters of being a good sport.

Exercise Playing by The Rules
Learning to play fair begins with understanding how to play the game. As kids start to gain skills, these rules are constantly reviewed to make sure everyone knows what behavior on the field is considered out of bounds. If someone does forget the rules on the field, there is always an adult supervising who can provide a gentle reminder.

Respect for Authority
At summer camp, children look up to their elderly camp counselors and coaches. Yet, it is also important to teach children that every authority figure deserves respect. That is precisely why coaches model respectful behavior which helps children learn how to take another person’s authority with grace. After having a coach’s instruction for practices and training also teaches kids to follow directions, even if they might not feel like it.

Learn from Losses
Kids never like to lose, but it’s essential for them to understand that everyone can’t be a winner all the time. When a team loses a game at summer camp, team leaders and coaches help keep their spirits by reminding them that the purpose of the game is to have fun and learn. Afterwards, campers are encouraged to discuss what happened during the game to recognize any changes that may be made. Learning how to overcome losses helps campers to observe a higher purpose in every game that goes beyond simply earning a trophy.

Celebrate Graciously
Because of this, summer camp teams create rituals that encourage a feeling of wellbeing for both teams after the game. For example, children like to line up after a match has been played to provide each member of another team a top five. Or, they may all gather at the end to sing the camp song, which promotes unity.

Acknowledge Teamwork
In sports, no player should ever think they accomplished a triumph alone. In actuality, passing the ball, guarding the target and helping a teammate up after a fall all take teamwork. During a game, children are encouraged to acknowledge one another’s help. Saying thank you to a teammate or telling a friend that they did a fantastic job for scoring a goal teaches children that everyone has to work together to win the game.

Learning to play well with others is a skill that every child needs as they progress through life. From respecting authority to comforting a friend following a loss, every child has the opportunity to come out of this game a winner.

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