With the NBA finals going on, I felt the need to talk about sportsmanship. I watched the East Finals last week or so and at the win of the Miami Heat, some of the guys on the other side walked out without even congratulating the other team or the normal handshake given at the end of games.
Now there are a lot of kids watching these games and I am thinking what kind of message are these NBA players giving to our kids when they are at the losing end of the stick.
My son plays flag football and at the end of the games we make sure to have the kids walk the line and touch the opposing team. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives and with a lot of kids watching television and “wanting to be like Mike” (yeah I am old school), they also learn from these NBA players.
Now in these instances with these professional players, we as parents have to help our kids understand about good sportsmanship. It may not always be easy to display it, and it can be tough to congratulate the opposing team after losing a close game. But the kids who learn how to do it will benefit in many ways.
Kids who see adults behaving in a sportsmanlike way gradually come to understand that the real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity- whether they win or lose.