Teaching Sportsmanship to Teenagers

lizzie79 By lizzie79, 14th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Teenagers

An important part of parenting is to encourage good character traits in your teenager. Sportsmanship is one such trait and here are some tips on how to your teenager about this.


For many teenagers, sports are an important part of their social life. It is an opportunity not only to get fit, but also to be involved in activities that they enjoy, to be a part of a group and to socialize with others with similar interests. During the teenage years, people become more aware of their own identity and part of this is where their strengths and weaknesses lie. In terms of sport, this can increase a teens awareness of winning, losing and how their personal performance reflects on them. This can be reflected in their sportsmanship, both positively and negatively. As a parent, you have the opportunity, and to some level a responsibility, to make an impact on their child's sportsmanship. Here are some tips for how a parent can achieve this.

Set a Good Example

If you are a keen sports person and your child watches you participate in your preferred sport, it is vital that you set a good example in terms of sportsmanship. Behave throughout a match as you would expect your child to behave and show respect for other players and the spectators. Setting an example of sportsmanship can extend further than sporting activities into other areas of your day to day life.

Talk About Sportsmanship

Make sportsmanship an important topic of discussion in your family. There are many different opportunities in day to day life for families to talk about sportsmanship. Whether this be during a family game on a computer console, a board game or just while watching the television, the chance to talk about good sportsmanship are plentiful.

Use Positive Examples From the Media

Many sporting events are televised. This is a great chance to watch sports activities together and to discuss examples of both good and bad sportsmanship. It is often possible to look at examples of how other react to poor sportsmanship. For example, after a game, there are often interviews with managers, players and fans. Any key events from a game or match will be discussed in these interviews. Poor sportsmanship is usually discussed in a very negative way and it is important that you discuss with your child how poor sportsmanship reflects negatively on them as a person in the eyes of others.

Offer Positive Encouragement

As a parent spectator you also have the opportunity to promote good sportsmanship to your teenager from the sidelines. While offering words, or screams, of positive encouragement for your child and cheering when they are successful is a normal part of supporting your child, shouting negative comments to the opponents can impact negatively on your child's view of good sportsmanship.

Get a Good Coach

There are good coaches and bad coaches, as with all professions. Try to find one that shares similar views to yourself with regards to teaching good sportsmanship from your teenager. Having another adult that they respect reinforce the messages that you are giving them will promote sportsmanship in your teenager.


Parenting, Parenting Tips, Sport, Sportsmanship, Teenagers

Meet the author

author avatar lizzie79
I am a mum of four who has worked as a professional freelance writer for the past five years and formerly worked in education. I love to write about education, parenting, fashion, health, and travel.

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