The word, “sportsmanship,” and the phrase, “being a good sport,” are thrown around a lot at Viking camps. If these words come across as vague yet certainly desirable, then we’re here to let you in on what we mean by this. Being on the same page can help you help us promote this value in your children.
At Viking, sportsmanship is all about learning how to win with pride and how to lose with humility. Most of the games we play can get competitive, and we believe there is a difference between healthy competition and extreme fanaticism and disregard for the opponents or apathy and disregard for your own teammates. To us, being a, “good sport,” means being able to celebrate with your teammates on mutual goals accomplished, and appreciate the efforts of the opposing team. High-fives to every single teammate after goals scored or to individual teammates after important moves in the game are highly encouraged in the spirit of the game. To be a good sport, it’s also important to congratulate players of the opposing team for a job well done after a shot on goal or a pass, and especially at the finish of a game.
At Viking, “being a good sport,” also means listening to the advice, encouragement and feedback from coaches. Just as we want to encourage all team players to recognize the efforts of all of their teammates and the members of the opposing team, we also want to encourage team players to recognize the subsequent roles of the coaches in the sports experience. Our coaches act as mentors and role models on and off the field. During game time, the coaches’ roles are also to ensure fair play by making sure all players are adhering to the rules of the game. It’s important that your children see this as positive encouragement, which is mutually beneficial. If your team follows the rules, then it encourages the other team to do the same. Furthermore, cheating may sometimes have rewards in the short run, and is usually self-harming in the long run. At Viking, we’re looking to build a set of lifelong character traits including respect, honesty and positive regard for all. We encourage your children to follow the example of our coaches.
Being a teammate and a good sport essentially means being there for each other. Treating each player with dignity and worth ties into the respecting the game and the players of the game. The best tips we can leave you with for fostering sportsmanship in your children is to recognize that each member of the team plays an important part in the game. Encourage your child to play his or her part and to recognize each of the other players’. Encourage your children to celebrate and be proud of their part in a win and also remind them to show kindness toward the other team with high-fives or words of encouragement and not put-downs.