Adults need to set example of good sportsmanship

We may not agree with the call an official makes on a play, but we still have to remain respectful to what the official calls. Too often, coaches lose it and go off at the official, giving their athletes the illusion that temper tantrums are the answer to get calls to go your way.

Sports are a good opportunity for children to learn to work with a team, contribute to the big picture and learn good sportsmanship.

For some reason, this negative picture of competition has been placed in our heads that make us think that we have to be better than our opponent and not settle for anything less. In a perfect world, athletes would congratulate the person next to them each time they make a good play. But a perfect world is hard to obtain.

I have experienced bad sportsmanship firsthand – from players speaking vulgar language on the field to coaches doing the same toward officials or even their own players. Spectators have also added to the problem of bad sportsmanship. Parents have a strong influence on their children, and when athletes’ parents show bad sportsmanship at games, the children will often copy their parents.

By sportsmanship being strictly enforced at a young age, athletes can learn early and will carry it through all their years of sports.

Montana Vaught