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Sports Then and Now

Teaching Your Kids Team Spirit and Sportsmanship

Posted on December 07, 2018 by Jessica Peters

team-2444978_1920Getting your children interested in sports is one of the most important things you can do for them, for a number of reasons. A child who is interested in sport is more likely to participate in it themselves, and this can help them keep fit and healthy. Children who exercise and participate in sports regularly are much more likely to do the same in adulthood, so it can bring lifelong benefits. Sports also teach us the important social skills of sportsmanship and being a team player, so here are four simple ways that encourage your kids to develop these vital attributes.

Watch Lots of Sport

Watching a sport is great fun, and your children will enjoy it even more if they can do it with their mom or dad and if they have a particular team they can cheer on. People of all ages can learn a lot from watching sport, but one of the most important lessons is that working smoothly with people as part of a team can bring great results. Even Steph Curry, for example, knows when it’s best to pass to a Warriors teammate rather than taking a shot on himself. This can be a vital lesson for young people to learn, encouraging them to think about ‘we’ rather than just ‘me’.

Learn to Trade and Share

Loving sport can give a child many happy memories that stay forever, but it’s not simply watching the sport, or even taking part in it, that’s fun. There are lots of family friendly activities that are spin offs from sport, and one of the most enjoyable is trading pin collecting. A team pin can be a thing of real beauty, and many children and adults love to wear the pin of the team they support, whether that be in football, baseball, hockey, basketball or soccer. Many children also trade club pins with school friends or at special trading events. These not only allow your child to grow their collection, it means that they learn how to trade fairly, and how sharing can bring rewards.

Take Part in Sports

One of the best ways to learn sportsmanship, and to grow a team spirit is, of course, to take part in a sport and become part of a team. There can be few joys in life that equal that of seeing your son and daughter performing well for their sports team, but how do you encourage them to join a team and stay in it? The key is to find an activity that they really love, so be prepared to take them to lots of different sporting groups initially. Once they’ve found something they love, give them encouragement and support at every opportunity.

Have Family Games Nights

Sport isn’t the only place you can learn the value of team spirit and sportsmanship, as board games and quizzes are a great way to do this as well. A good idea is to set aside one night a week as a game night, and have teams that consist of both adults and children; you can invite friends along to make up the numbers if necessary. Your kids will not only have lots of fun, they’ll learn to be competitive whilst at the same time learn, with your encouragement of course, the importance of sportsmanship and abiding by the rules.

It’s great when children win, but they also need to learn how to lose with grace, and sports and games are a great way to teach them how to do both these things. Watching sporting events and trading and collecting sports pins can also help encourage a love of sport, which in turn can lead to your children becoming healthy adults who are able to perform well as part of a team.

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