The Importance of Respect in Sports
● By Hood Magazine
*Information provided by All American Gymnastics*
Respect is having a regard for other people and their lives; it is showing those around us compassion and empathy. Children who show respect will find they are successful in all aspects of life.
The sports environment is a great place to grow and establish respect. While involved in sports, your child will learn the importance of respecting their teammates, coaches, opponents and spectators.
Teammates: Group sports teach children sportsmanship and how to be happy for their peers. It’s not all about them and their success; it’s also about being positive and celebrating the accomplishments of others.
Coaches: If an athlete wishes to improve and succeed, they must listen to the advice and criticism of those who coach them. Part of being respectful is understanding others may know better and we should listen and learn from them. When your child has the respect to heed his or her coach, they will find themselves succeeding and improving in that sport.
Opponents: Being kind to those who oppose you can be difficult. This is a skill taught through sports. Your child will learn how to lose graciously and win modestly. They’ll be taught how to be kind to others even when it’s hard.
Spectators: Perhaps even more difficult than learning to respect our opponents is learning to respect those who watch us. Spectators, both for and against a team, can be very negative towards the players. One of the most valuable things you can teach your child is to be respectful even when others don’t show the same respect.
You cannot be successful at a sport without respect. In order to progress, an athlete must be open to the suggestions and criticism of his or her coach. Instead of coming up with excuses and tearing down teammates, a successful athlete takes ownership of his or her actions and learns from them. It is for this reason that athletes make amazing role models for children. When your child gets involved in sports, they will be around others who got far through respect and hard work.
If you wish to encourage respectful behavior at home, you must lead by example. This means that it’s extra important for parents to listen and respect coaches, build up their child’s teammates and congratulate the other team. When you behave kindly and respectfully, your child is sure to follow in your footsteps!