How do we teach good sportsmanship to our children and why is it important?
Last Friday evening the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League West Division Championship by defeating the San Francisco Giants 11 to 3.
This was surely an exciting game for the many children who no doubt sat next to their fathers and watched the showdown on television or at the crowded stadium.
Baseball, like most sports played in America, can be a powerful tool for teaching children about endurance, determination, cultivation of skills, respect and teamwork. In many ways, it is one of our best resources.
At this game, however, adults allowed the event to teach poor sportsmanship, or what could also be called poor "charactership."
At the close of Friday's game, when the Diamondbacks secured the victory, a loud and resounding "BOOOOO" rose up from the crowd and echoed across the country on television and on radio. What does this type of sportsmanship teach our children?
It teaches our children that it is OK to disrespect the talents of others. It teaches our children that they can whine and complain about something they haven't earned or don't deserve. Too much selfishness and disrespect exists in our society already. Why cultivate more?
As adults, we teach sportsmanship, good or bad, by our own example. Whether it's little league baseball, football, soccer, or the game of life -- we must show our children that they can respect the talents of others and still play the game well themselves.
Next time we sit on the sidelines with our young people, let's show them they can respect others, put the bad calls behind them and enjoy playing the game.