Since I have been the WCSSF League President, you might of heard me talk about sportsmanship. How many times over the past several years have we seen some unfortunate incident where a player, coach or parent acts inappropriately? Think about it, we’ve all seen it, been part of it, and never thought about the impact our actions have on the people around us. Cheap shots, taunting, trash talking and gloating are becoming the norm during sporting events, what does that really get us, nothing, because we end up hurting ourselves and people around us. Yes it feels great to win but it can be tough to loose in our competitive world but taunting and gloating only makes it worse. No matter if we win or lose, do it with class and congratulate the other team no matter the outcome.
Sportsmanship means following the rules of the game, playing fair, respecting opposing players and coaches and respecting the judgment of the referees. We need to treat others as we want others to treat us.
What does it take to demonstrate good sportsmanship in real-life situations?
- Show up for practice, work hard, and realize that on a team, everyone deserves a chance to play.
- Act courteously and talk politely toward everyone before, during and after the game.
- Even if others are losing their tempers, stay cool, it doesn’t mean you have to, it’s just a game.
- When ever you in a difficult situation or being threatened, seek help immediately from your coach or from a referee. Remember if you respond with violence, you will get penalized.
- Avoid trash talking the other team, cheer on your teammate with positive statements.
- When the referee make a call you don’t like, accept it gracefully. Remember that referees may not be right every time, but they are people trying to do there best, just as you are.
So I want to challenge every coach, player, parent and referee to keep in mind what sportsmanship means to each of us, and do the right thing.
See you on the pitch..