The words sports etiquette basically means manners during sports games. It’s closely related to sportsmanship. Manners and displaying good sportsmanship in kids sport has greatly diminished over the years.
The over emphasis of winning rather than maximum participation and enjoyment has mentally brainwashed too many sports coaches, kids and their parents.
Sports etiquette must make a comeback!
Mom and Dad always told you, ‘manners don’t cost you anything’. As a sports coach, always insist your individuals and teams demonstrate etiquette and sportsmanship. Make it part of your coaching instruction. Then listen to the complementary comments you and your athletes receive from the spectators, and other team officials.
Positive reinforcement drives individuals forward. Why not help add to kids self-esteem by arming them with an extra positive attitude and a new social skill.
Listed below are the main ways junior athletes can demonstrate sports etiquette. Also check the Code of Conduct to identify other areas you may wish to develop sportsmanship.
- Promote early arrival and activities starting on time, it is pivotal to a childs growth and positive parent support.
Always promote positive talk with your individual’s, squad, team and when appropriate the opposition.
Never negatively question an umpires or referees decision
Clap the opposition Captain when they first appear during a game.
Allow injured players ‘space’, don’t crowd around medical trainers attending to athletes.
Clap injured or eliminated players off the field if they are retired from the activity.
Allow players to have their opinion heard. Everybody should be a receptive listener.
If appropriate, acknowledge an opposition players major game achievement.
Remain respectful while opposition athletes take set shots.
Providing 3 cheers and or shaking hands with your own team members, opposition and other game officials at the completion of the event.
Individual sports all have their own particular variations and approaches to etiquette and good sportsmanship.
You as the kids sports coach are a role model, be the leader in encouraging positive behavior.
If and when you encounter an opposition sports coach who is the direct opposite of you it is very unsettling. Take a deep breath and remember why you are coaching. It’s not about winning, it’s about you and the junior athletes doing the test jobs possible. Win or lose respect the integrity of the sports game.