What does sportsmanship look like for a young player on a basketball team? Here are some ways that a young player can demonstrate sportsmanship as a member of a basketball team.
Hold yourself to a standard that sets you apart from others. Remember that you are a role model for others around you both on and off the court. Conduct yourself with class after both wins and losses. It’s easy to be a good sport when you are winning and things are going well. The true test is how you react after a loss or when adversity strikes.
When you are playing a lot, the team is winning, and you are happy with your role on the team it’s easy to encourage your teammates and be positive. Make sure that you bring the same level of encouragement and positivity when you’re on the bench or the team is not playing well. Be an energy giver at all times!
The best way to improve yourself and your team is to be coachable. A good sport may not agree with every decision a coach makes, but they know that in most cases the coach has the best interest of the team at heart.
Play the game with integrity. Compete as hard as you can to win every time you step on the court, but don’t be willing to bend the rules to gain an advantage over your opponent.
No one likes to play with someone who cheats. When teammates and coaches can’t trust you that can creates a break in team unity. Compete to the best of your ability within the rules of the game.
You won’t agree with every call and you won’t like every official. Regardless of that fact you must respect the officials and their decisions. Arguing, complaining, and whining about officials has never helped a player get more calls or play better. Instead, direct that energy into the next play in the gam. The officials have a very difficult job. Let them do their job without hearing you complain and more often than not, they’ll end up on your side.
If you have a disagreement with a coach or a teammate handle it in the locker room away from the public eye. The conversation will be more productive and you’re more likely to reach a positive understanding than getting into a shouting match on the court.
True sportsmen (or women) want to make the game better. Be determined to give your all each day in training, practice, and games. You’ll make yourself better, your teammates better, and the game better. Don’t settle for anything less than your best.
Excuses get you nowhere. Don’t blame others when something goes wrong. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you could have done better and what you will do better next time. A good sport is not looking for a way to escape blame, a good sport is looking for ways to improve as a player.
Don’t play dirty or call your opponent names. Look at your opponent as a gift. Without them you’d have no one to play against, no one to challenge you, no one to test your abilities. It’s easy to be a good sport and avoid these behaviors when you’re beating a classy opponent. It’s much harder when you are losing to a team that talks trash and plays dirty. The mark of true sportsmanship is consistent behavior regardless of the circumstances.
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