Posted by: David D. Daggett | October 4, 2010

Sportsmanship First

Sportsmanship First

       What can we learn from 7 year olds playing flag football? The program through our local Winston-Salem YMCA system begins each game with both teams meeting in the center of the field for a discussion on sportsmanship and taking the sportsmanship pledge.

Sportsmanship First

It is fun watching Coach Holmes and his young team. He is teaching these boys life lessons. They support each other and have fun. They take turns playing, and take turns at each position. It is certainly about football and competitions; but, it is more about life lessons these youngsters are learning.

They learn that sportsmanship is about respect. Respect for officials, teammates, coaches, and the competition. The teammates learn to encourage and support each other with positive comments and positive cheering. They learn the importance of fairness. Fairness applies to the other team as well as their own.

These little guys like to win and get intense. Along the way they learn sportsmanship includes keeping a good demeanor under times of stress, and sometimes physical adversity. We are proud of how our young athletes are learning to be good sports, good winners, and good losers. They are learning values that will help them through life.

Last week when the opposing team thought the game was an hour later, they drafted friends and sisters to scrimmage. The had fun, worked on their skills, and made the best of the situation. When the opponent show up they were bigger, stronger, and faster. No matter, the boys pulled together, supported each other, and played hard. Somehow they won, too.

These young athletes quickly develop an understanding that the real lesson in sports is how to persevere and behave with dignity. They become good sports and learn how to work toward goals. They respect each other and learn the benefits of teamwork.

All of the flag football games end with the players lining up to shake hands with the opponents when the game is concluded. They then gather together in the center of the field to conclude the day with the athletes’ prayer.

Sportsmanship first,

David

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