What kids can learn from a game

Regardless of what the scoreboard says, learning the basics of sportsmanship can help kids score big, whenever they compete.

That’s the idea behind the Five Golden Rules of Sportsmanship, created in partnership with the American Youth Soccer Organization, Little League International, Girls on the Run International and Kellogg’s.

“The Five Golden Rules of Sportsmanship help kids with confidence as they deal with both challenges and accomplishments in athletics,” said Olympic gold medal speed skater Bonnie Blair. “They serve as a ‘playbook’ for kids in practice, games and in their daily lives.”

The Five Golden Rules of Sportsmanship give coaches and parents the tools they need to teach kids about good sportsmanship on and off the field.

1. Play with a smile. That means playing with passion, confidence and self-respect; being gracious in victory and defeat; and most of all having fun. Play for your love of the game, not just the trophy.

2. Be a winner. Winners lead by example-always playing their best, being humble and acting in good character. Bring your game to the next level by practicing hard and learning from your mistakes.

3. Show respect. Playing fair and following the rules is a big part of sportsmanship. Always consider your safety and the safety of others. Treat your coaches, officials, parents, fans, teammates and opponents with respect.

4. Be a good teammate. Being part of a team means showing up to practices and games on time, cooperating and being a trustworthy, loyal teammate.

5. Find good in the game. Instead of focusing on missed opportunities, focus on the positive points. Cheer on good plays by your teammates and opponents and congratulate effort as well as success.

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