Tag Archives: sportsmanship


sometimes you win sometimes you learn

It is so hard to lose!  Especially when you are twelve!  Drew’s summer ball team had a rough game tonight.  That other team could hit!!!

Drew has never been a good loser.  NEVER.  Unfortunately, that means the rest of us suffer along with him.  I wonder where he gets it from…

Okay, I will admit it, I am not a good loser either, but I don’t usually let him see that.  I am very passionate about my sport teams!  Maybe a little too passionate.  At professional games, I can let it out and scream and shout, but on the side lines of a kids sporting even, I need to remember to bite my tongue – especially when I realize I have taught a lot of these children!  Fortunately, I do keep it to myself.  There are actually rules and guidelines for parents to follow and this is a good thing!  Now that DJ is an umpire in our town, I cringe when I see parents criticizing an umpire or referee or blame them for a bad call, knowing that DJ could be on the other side of that argument.

Fortunately the teams that Drew has been a part of have always had parents who are good role models.  If parents are supportive and positive it will spill over to all the kids, on both sides of the field.  Seeing the coaches communicating positively and exhibiting good sportsmanship will be passed onto the kids as well.

After all, in the end, win or lose, the goal is that they had fun and learned from the game….even though winning does feel so good!





Today, Drew had a playoff game for his Spring Recreation baseball team.  Unfortunately, they didn’t win, but we did get to witness his team pull off TRIPLE PLAY!!  They were so pleased with themselves.  They worked hard this season and despite a record number of rain outs and makeup games, they wound up playing really well together.  This is also true for his soccer team.  Tomorrow is the semi-final game for that team.  As the boys on his teams have gotten older, it has been a treat to watch them play and work cohesively with each other.   There is so much more teamwork and collaboration displayed rather than an “all me” attitude.

When they were younger, games could go on for hours.  Parents would sit on the sidelines and laugh as their children would lose focus, spin in circles, pick dandelions and meander away after getting bored waiting for their turn.  With the “no strike rule” in tee-ball and “coach pitch” games, every child had a chance to score and get up to bat and games would go on f.o.r.e.v.e.r….  As the kids got older, they are learning more and more rules.  This season’s big rule to learn about was “the balk,”  which sadly caused runs to score for both teams.

The balk rule in Major League Baseball was introduced in 1898. Balk actions[edit] A pitcher is restricted to a certain set of motions and one of two basic pitching positions before and during a pitch; if these regulations are violated with one or more runners on base, an umpire may call a balk. (Wikipedia)

At the end of this game though, we still saw our little boys come back as a few shed tears and others got angry about losing.  Summer ball is just around the corner and although this same group of boys may not all be together, they will all still be learning the rules and growing into better ball players but more importantly, they will be growing into good sports.  Every young ball player dreams about making it to the pros, but with such a small percentage of that actually happening, it is more important that they are developing character and a positive spirit when it comes to playing.

Be a Good Sport


I have written about hockey and the fighting once before but I need to reiterate how much the fighting and unruliness bothers me at games.  Don’t get me wrong, it is my absolute favorite sport to watch and to me, there is nothing more exciting than watching live hockey!  Seriously, if they don’t start regulating more, they should just start calling it The UFC instead of The NH.  I don’t go to a hockey game for the fighting but I know there are many fans who go just for that!  No other major league allows fighting like The NHL does.  In most sports, when a brawl does ensue, the referees jump in and pull it apart.  In The NHL, the refs stand back and let them fight it out for awhile before attempting to break it up.  Today’s game, had just one fight.  Lots of shoving and pushing but only one fight that called for penalties on the players.  Not too bad but lately, I am embarrassed to be a fan though.  I have been to games at other arenas and this happens everywhere.  When players on the opposing team are announced before the game, the fans yell out, “you suck”.  When a goal is scored, the fans stand up and cheer to a song, (Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Anthem), and all call out “Hey, you suck” as they cheer for their own team yet heckle the opponent.  I cannot remain standing.  I won’t say it and I don’t allow my kids to either, though I know that I can not control what they do when I am not there.  I am uncomfortable being a part of it.  Adults, kids women, men, all around chant it.   The swearing at games amazes me as well.  Today, a man in front of me, was sitting with a young  boy about eight or nine years old.  The referee made a call that this man obviously did not agree with. He stood up, screamed the “f word” and made a gesture that meant the same thing.  All right in front of his kid!  I don’t know how we can change these attitudes.  No one is noticing me, as I sit down, refusing to join in on the cheers and jeers.  My silent protest won’t change it.  I am not going to make a change by myself, there are nearly 20,000 people at a game.  I think about it at every game, but have yet to thought of a solution.  It cannot happen by myself.

Learning how to interact with others in sports whether you win or lose, is an important part of sportsmanship.  This is something we all try to teach our children.  In my Kindergarten, we play lots of math games and interactive games.  They know that when the game is over, they have to shake their opponents hand and say, “good game”.  We can not always be winners, but at least we can learn to be gracious losers.  One thing I always mention to my students’ parents at back to school night, is to play games with their children and let them LOSE!  They are in class with 21 other children and will not be able to win all of the time.

It is not always negativity that I witness at games.  Today in fact, I witnessed a really nice chain of kindness.  A woman was walking down the steps to her seat with her hands filled with food that she had just purchased.  One of the beers, in a plastic bottle, fell off her tray and hit the cement stairs hard.  It exploded like a champagne bottle, soaking the woman sitting to her right.  The woman who dropped it was mortified and stood there not knowing what to do first.  I offered to take the food to her seats for her, as she tried to help the woman now covered in beer.  The woman covered in beer did not get upset, and instead calmed her down and said not to worry because she knew it was an accident.  The woman behind her, grabbed the bottle from the stairs, that was still pouring out and started to help clean up the mess.  As all of this was going on, another fan, got up and got an usher to call for someone to help with the clean up.  Nothing huge.  Just something that proved to me that despite all the negative cheering, booing and name calling, these people still offered to lend a helping hand and do the right thing.  No harsh words for this woman.  Just sympathetic looks, (knowing she just spilled a ten dollar beer), and silent gestures as they tried to help her without making it into a big deal.