MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Some people define good sportsmanship as the "golden rule" of sports — in other words, treating the people you play with and against as you'd like to be treated yourself. You demonstrate good sportsmanship when you show respect for yourself, your teammates, and your opponents, for the coaches on both sides, and for the referees, judges, and other officials.
But sportsmanship isn't just reserved for the people on the field. Cheerleaders, fans, and parents also need to be aware of how they behave during competition. Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude, and it can have a positive influence on everyone around you.
Talk politely and act courteously toward everyone before, during, and after games and events.
Avoid settling disputes with violence. Remind yourself that no matter how hard you've practiced and played, it is, after all, just a game.
Cheer your teammates on with positive statements — and avoid trash-talking the other team.
When officials make a call, accept it gracefully even if it goes against you.
Whether you win or lose, congratulate your opponents on a game well played.
Learning good sportsmanship means finding that the positive attitude learned on the field carries over into other areas of life. At school, for example, you're able to appreciate the contributions made by classmates and know how to work as part of a team to complete a project. You may enjoy more success at work as well, because a big part of learning good sportsmanship is learning to be respectful of others, including customers and coworkers.