Sportsmanship — an often neglected fundamental of sports. It’s an area of competition that gets plenty of attention, but for all the wrong reasons.
The pouting, the crying, the trash talking, the gloating. We’ve become so accustomed to these behaviors that we lose a significant factor of enjoyment for the sport itself. So the next time you head out on the court, here are some do’s and do not’s in the world of good sportsmanship.
DO NOT: Cheat or play dirty to win. You may pocket a victory by stooping to dishonest behavior, but you will lose respect of your peers and compromise your integrity.
DO: Play fair! Play by the rules. Pass it on.
DO NOT: Be negative just because something doesn’t go your way. No one likes a Negative Nelly!
DO: Stay positive with yourself after all points. Take each match as a chance to improve your game and grow.
DO NOT: Continuously talk trash or smack talk. Save all that energy and focus to concentrate on your performance because talking trash doesn’t make up for a lack of skill, it just shows a negative aspect of your character on and off the court.
DO: Give credit where credit is due. In fact, go a step further by complimenting your opponent on a good play or giving a “nice job” type pat on the back.
DO NOT: Be a sore loser. Sometimes you are just going to get outplayed. Accept it. No one likes to lose, but why let a loss keep you down? So don’t sulk, don’t cry, and definitely do not swear or throw things – seriously, racket and ball abuse are just inexcusable.
DO: Lose gracefully. End each and every match with a smile, firm handshake and compliment on your opponent’s performance. Get feedback from your coaches, teammates and find out what you can work on so that next time you can be a graceful winner. And when you win? Stay classy. Your performance will speak for itself.
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