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MHS Sportsmanship

Athletic Department

A letter to parents from the MHS Department of Athletics

Webster’s Dictionary defines a “SPORTSMAN” as “a person who can take a victory without gloating or a loss without complaint, and who treats his opponents with fairness and courtesy.” This year, as we embark on our athletic endeavors, we would like to make good sportsmanship our most important point of emphasis. At Middletown High School, good sportsmanship is our expectation.

What is Good Sportsmanship?

According to the Nemours Foundation and Kids Health, good sportsmanship occurs when coaches, teammates, opponents, and officials treat each other with respect. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, particularly, their parents and their coaches. Parents can help their kids understand that good sportsmanship includes both small gestures and heroic efforts. It starts with something as simple as shaking hands with opponents before the game as an initial demonstration of good sportsmanship, and after the game, regardless of the final score.

Fostering Good Sportsmanship

Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to teaching kids the basics of good sportsmanship. Here are some suggestions on how to foster good sportsmanship in your child:

  • As a parent, you should only shout words of encouragement to your child from the sidelines. The coaches will coach on the field.

  • Keep your comments positive. If you have a serious concern about the way games or practices are being conducted or if you are upset about other parents’ behavior, discuss it privately with your child’s coach.

  • If you have a concern about the officiating, please direct that issue to the Athletic Director, who will work with the administration to find a satisfactory resolution.

  • When talking to your child after a competition, it is important to be supportive in your comments and your actions. Although the outcome of a contest is important, try not to overemphasize which team won or lost, but the positive efforts of your child, his teammates, and the coaching staff.

  • Set a good example with your courteous behavior towards the parents of kids on the other team.

  • Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy the game while your child benefits from gaining new skills, making new friends, and developing character that will help him or her throughout their lifetime.

Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece – by thought, choice, courage and determination.” John Luther

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