Do you talk to your children about good sportsmanship? If you do—and I surely hope you do— be sure to help them focus on these specific character traits.
A good teammate recognizes and accepts that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
Your child needs to know that they don’t have to be like everyone else on the team. Each player is unique and brings their own set of strengths to the game. That’s what makes a team so effective!
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A good teammate focuses on what they do well.
Instead of focusing on what they're doing wrong or where they're weak, a good teammate figures out their strengths and knows that what they bring to the team is a very necessary ingredient. Encourage them to focus on doing that strength to the best of their ability.
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A good teammate plays for the TEAM.
Encourage your child to be a teammate that fights for a team win, not for an MVP award, or to score the most points on the team, or to be the team’s hero.
If your child plays on a team where players seem to care more about their own advancement rather than the team’s good, encourage them to set the example and show their teammates how a true team player fights for the team’s success, not their own.
A good teammate communicates well.
They know how to ask questions, encourage teammates, communicate well in the game, and talk to the coach when they are struggling.
A good teammate treats others with respect.
This includes teammates, coaches, opponents, and officials.
Once your child understands that strong team players make a team better and more competitive, they have learned a lesson that prepares them for the future. Life is full of teams — work, home, community—and good teammates increase the chance for success in any arena.