“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.” ~ Knute Rockne
Teaching your children good sportsmanship is a great life lesson. This is when participants treat each other with dignity and respect, despite whether they win or lose. Displaying good sportsmanship can sometimes be difficult, especially for children as they can get upset or be disappointed at losing. For children to accept defeat graciously is an important skill that will serve them throughout your life.
We highlight the importance of learning good sportsmanship, which is as critical to your children’s training as learning moves and techniques. This can also be a factor in determining whether of not they are able to go up a belt level.
In Samurai Karate Australia good sportsmanship includes:
- Treating others with respect, including opponents, instructors, teammates and referees.
- Being fair and playing by the set rules.
- Encouraging teammates and congratulating opponents.
- Having good manners, such as saying ‘yes Sir/Madam’, shaking hands and bowing.
- Accepting defeat with dignity.
- Winning gracefully.
Children are representing their club in competition, so it is important for them to remember it’s not just about themselves. If they behave badly and ungraciously it reflects badly on the club. Good sportsmanship is about small gestures and efforts, such as shaking hands with an opponent before and after a match, as well as acknowledging the efforts of other components and accepting defeat with poise.
Children will need to learn that it is never acceptable to ever get angry about losing. Losing is actually a brilliant and healthy opportunity, as it shows them that they need to improve and train harder. Some children may need the extra push to get out of their comfortable zone and realise they can continually keep improving.
In any event, a win or a loss, it’s important for children to be courteous, smile, shake your opponent’s hand and thank them. In doing so, your children will learn to become great sportsmen, better Martial Artists and generally more gracious people.