How to Be a Good Sport

Treat others as you want to be treated
Author: Joe Rizzo

Losing is hard, especially when you tried your best to win. Whether it’s chess or soccer, a spelling bee or a dance competition, we can’t win all the time. But being a good sport makes taking part more fun! Here are some ways to become a better sport, no matter what the event.

Playing fair

Good sportsmanship is about respect, self-control and playing by the rules. Good sports play because they love the game. They don’t focus on the final score. They enjoy practicing their skills and spending time with their teammates.

When playing any sport or game, remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. So if you win, don’t boast or pick on the other team. When you lose, try to lose gracefully. Congratulate the other team on their victory.

Here are five other tips for being a good sport:

1.    Offer encouragement to your teammates, even when they make mistakes.
2.    Lose without moping or pouting.
3.    Win without bragging or rubbing it in.
4.    Always play fair.
5.    Don’t blame others for losing the game.

Being a good sport means respecting yourself, your teammates, your coaches, the referees and the other team. Being respectful makes for better teamwork. And you’ll have more fun during the game, too.

What if I can’t play?

Games and sports teams are made up of different ­people who are all important. There are players, coaches and scorekeepers, for example. Sometimes, you may not be able to participate in certain games. Sports can be physically rough, and the risk of a bleed might be too high. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take part, though. Talk to the coach about helping out as a coach’s assistant or an equipment manager. You can still be part of the team even if you’re not playing in the game.

Beyond the game

Life is a lot like a sporting event. It can be tough and sometimes the outcome may not seem fair or right, especially for kids with bleeding disorders. Good sportsmanship teaches us to focus on the good things, like having fun with your friends. That’s a good habit to get into, on and off the court.