Good manners do not go out of style. Hopefully you are teaching your kids manners to practice at home, in school, and in sports. Yep, in sports.
Playing sports doesn’t have to be dog-eat-dog and athletes don’t have to have an attitude to succeed. Teach your kids to keep practicing their manners even in the heat of competition.
• Thank the Coach and/or shake his/her hand after practices and game.
• Offer a helping hand to players on the ground, both teammates and opponents.
• Acknowledge when a teammate or opponent has a great play.
• Don’t argue with the officials, and thank them after the game as well.
• If you are unhappy about coming out of the game, don’t huff and puff and pout about it.
• Listen to the coach and do what he/she asks. Look them in the eye when you speak to them.
• There does not need to be please and thank you when running plays, but there should be an attitude of respect for each player.
• Keep negative and profane comments about coaches, teammates, officials and opponents to yourself, that includes making fun of people.
• After the season, do something to show your appreciation to the coach, even if you didn’t like or agree with all their strategies. Be thankful for their effort and time.
• Keep rivalries civil. Teach kids that demeaning trash talk about opponents, in or out of the game, is not respectful.
• Don’t share water or drinking bottles. As tempting and easy as it is to pass a water bottle around, your kids need to know that’s how diseases spread.
Somehow parents and athletes have fallen into the mindset that they can check their manners at the ticket booth when they walk into the sports arena. Parents, it must start with you: show your kids what manners look like, and then encourage them to take those manners into the game.
Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.