If your child has attended one of our Head Start Basketball Camps they have heard my speech about sportsmanship. I give the speech the first day of camp before we play our games. Sportsmanship is very important to us here at Head Start Basketball. We want our young players to play the game the right way, the HSB way.
What does that mean? We want young players to have good sportsmanship with three groups of people involved in any game they play.
Have good sportsmanship with your teammates. When they do something good out on the floor tell them “Nice shot” or “Great pass”. You never know how uplifting that can be to the spirit of that player and the team. If a teammate makes a mistake, don’t criticize them, encourage them with “Nice try” or “Let’s get it next time”. Share the ball. No one likes to play with someone who never passes the ball.
Have good sportsmanship with your opponents. Focus your energy on what you have to do, don’t worry about what your opponent is doing. Don’t taunt your opponent. Celebrate with your teammates when something good happens, don’t direct your celebration at your opponents. Always respect your opponent. Try your best to win and when the game is over, shake hands with your opponent and say “Good game”.
Have good sportsmanship with the referees. Don’t worry about the referee’s calls or try to do their job for them. You are focused on playing your best. Let the referees do their job. If you want to be a referee you can do that when you get older. It is much more fun to be a player, so be a player and don’t waste your energy arguing with the referees.
Teach your young basketball player to play the game with outstanding sportsmanship.