By: Demetria Pappas and Lisa Iadicicco
Summertime sports, a national pastime… Whether it’s heading to a major league baseball game or to your 10 year old’s soccer match, sportsmanship manners should be practiced particularly in the heat of the moment. As recent as June of this year the NCAA and The Big 12 kicked off new rules concerning unsportsmanlike conduct. This goes for on and off the playing field.
Why sports at all?
A good starting point might be to recall what your child is gaining from participating in organized sports. There are practical benefits of improved fitness, skills and recognition. What else? They may also be exposed to the ideals of teamwork, leadership, camaraderie, adversity, resilience and grace-in-defeat.
Why are we there?
We as spectators are likely there for two reasons – to be entertained and to be supportive. But, we don’t drop our personal responsibilities of appropriate behavior at the stadium gate. Take advantage of the ebbs and flows of the game to illustrate these ideals to the folks around you… “You’ll” get ‘em next time” or “The ref was much closer than us” or “We are all human and can make mistakes.” Take the higher ground!
What should we do?
Why not model the oft-quoted, “If you can’t say anything nice. Don’t say anything at all”? A few definite sporting events “no-no’s”:
- No profanity!
- No criticism of specific players! No matter how right you think you are, you have no place coaching, much less screaming, your playing tips, admonitions and downright insults, at someone else’s kid. Not only is it wrong, but their Mom might be sitting right next to you!
- Game day anger doesn’t last, but Google’s forever. Maybe you’re a “pen’s mightier than the sword” type, who decides to post and punctuate your position, post haste, post-race…think before you post.
- No personal attacks aimed at anyone especially game officials or coaches! Imagine how proud your child will NOT be to see you escorted from the gym!
Athletic events should be educational, inspiring and entertaining affairs. Help make them even better by conducting yourself appropriately!
Sports do not build character. They reveal it. – Heywood Hale Brown
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Check us out on our website www.mothermayisite.org or call us at 412.531.2050 for more information on how we can help make your life experience…nicer.
Demetria Pappas and Lisa Iadicicco are the Co-founders of Mother, May I-a premier company that trains and teaches proper behavior, common courtesies and social skills updated. MMI is licensed to train professionals in Protocol and Corporate etiquette. MMI provides customized presentations for all audiences. MMI’s Mission is to share valuable information for everyone to improve their world–“Changing your manners, may change your world”