I recently listened to an interview with former Dallas Cowboy Tyler Clutts, father of 4, on how to develop sportsmanship early. Here are some take-aways.
Instill GRATITUDE! Being able to play and pursue sports is a blessing! Not everybody has that ability and opportunity. We live in a culture that “just has” or is “just one click away”. We need to show our kids what hard work is about, and that not everyone is lucky enough to have the physical or financial ability to play a sport/game. Tyler Clutts said “ sports are designed to teach life lessons!” So help teach your kids the life lessons they can learn from their sport, not just the athletic side. Teach them about leadership, dependability, resilience, confidence, accountability, and sportsmanship! The parents job is to be supportive! Support your child and spend time with them to help them develop their skills in all aspects: athletically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Don’t criticize your child, their coach, refs, etc. Teach them to learn from their losses and how to improve in the future. Listen to your child to find out what they are passionate about and support that, help them have FUN and find joy in the sport.
Sarah Caudle, PA-C