How to Instill Good Sportsmanship

Raise a Good SportGood sportsmanship is one of the most important lessons that we can learn from competition. Knowing that our success in sports is in learning to play the game with a certain attitude, rather than in whether we win or lose, and transferring that knowledge to other tasks and activities is an important part of the battle when it comes to learning to succeed.

It builds skills that all children and even some adults need to have for their own. So how do you teach children the meaning of good sportsmanship, let alone the practice of it, in today's society where messages and examples of poor and even downright bad sportsmanship abound?

The key is always in how you choose to communicate with your child on the subject. If you model and teach good sportsmanship your child will be able to learn it from you and you will be able to hold them to a higher standard.

Be a Good Sport

The first role model that your child will have for the proper behavior in games and sports is you. Make sure that the impression that you make is a good one. Show your child that you enjoy sports and games for themselves and not just for the prospect of having your chosen team win.

Teach your children to admire skill and performance no matter who delivers it and even suggest that to them that it is okay to root for both teams if they so choose. You can also begin to introduce good sportsmanship rules with the games and sports that you and your child play together at home. Help them learn how to behave when play, winning, or losing before you send them out into the world to display those skills to others.

Raise a Good Sport

When you enroll your child in team sports, try to choose a team and a coach that share your ideas about good sportsmanship. A good coach will make their expectations of conduct clear early on in the season. Even if they don't, you should make sure that your child understands your expectations before they ever go on the field. Don't stop there, however. Keep looking for teachable moments that you can use to discuss good sportsmanship with your child.

They should be easy to find and you can use them as a jumping off point for the kinds of open-ended questions that are designed to get your child thinking about the issues involved. Finally, make sure that you monitor your child's behavior and language both on and off the field. Your child's coach may not call them on something that you find inappropriate, but that does not mean that you can let the issue pass by.

Instead, make a point of discussing it with your child at home so that you can make it clear that their behavior was not okay. It may seem like a lot of work to go to in order to make something fun, but the lessons your child is learning will serve them throughout their life.

You might also find the following helpful:

Age-Appropriate Manners and Lessons

Parent's Survival Guide to Puberty

Bullying in Schools

Giving More Attention

Cleaning Their Rooms




Main Dishes and More

Main Dishes and More

Start saving time and money in your kitchen with these easy family-friendly recipes, packed with flavor.

Easy Recipes

Dinner Ideas

Chicken Recipes

Crock Pot Recipes

Soup, Salads and Sides

Soup, Salads and Sides These great soups and side dishes go with everything from elegant holiday meals to a weeknight pot roast.

Soup Recipes

Side Dishes

Salad Recipes

Names for Boys

Baby Boy Names

Choose the perfect name for your bundle of boy with help from our lists of thousands of boys names.

Boys Names

Names for Girls

Baby Girl Names

Find a beautiful name for your new daughter with easy to use lists of names and name meanings for girls.

Girls Names

Quotes for Life

Quotes About Life

The right quote at the right time can make you feel like there is a kindred spirit in this world that thinks like you do.

Some quotes have no other purpose than to make you laugh...something we could all use more of. Get inspired or reassured, visit the quotes pages often.

Quotes to Live By


These are the big lists for reference, all things vocabulary, reading and writing. 

List of Verbs

List of Pronouns

List of Prepositions

List of Nouns

List of Adverbs

List Of Adjectives

Bread Pudding Recipe

Bread Pudding

Cinnamon and vanilla infuse this custard-like dessert that starts with simple ingredients, but tastes like pure luxury.

Warm Spiced Bread Pudding Recipe

Easy Dinner Ideas

Easy Dinner Recipes

Try a variety of 30 minute meals, they're complete homemade dinners from kitchen to table in a half hour.

Quick and Easy 30 Minute Meals