Sportsmanship 101 for CYC Sports

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Next Wednesday, we begin two weeks of CYC Archdiocesan soccer playoffs. The girls play next week and the boys the following week. It will be an exciting time for everyone involved. Family and friends will be on the sideline cheering for their team. For some kids, it will be the only opportunity they may have to participate in a playoff atmosphere. Our office and the host districts, will do what we can to make this a memorable experience for the kids.

One of our core values at CYC is “SPORTSMANSHIP”. The playoffs are a great time to model proper sportsmanship to our players. They will learn from, and model the behavior of, the coaches, parents and fans in their world. This is so important. Here are some things to remember:

COACHES

• Kids are already stressed out about the game. Don’t add to the stress by over-emphasizing the importance of a win. Have fun with the kids.
• It’s not life or death. Don’t act like it is when your player is called for a hand ball in the box or misses an open shot. Those players need a hug: not a scowl.
• Find a way to make the game special. Treats after the game, team pictures, something you normally would not do during the season.
• Handshake Line: This is the best way to demonstrate sportsmanship. Win with class and lose with grace. Genuinely congratulate your opponent. Wish them luck, if they are moving to the next round. Too many times our teams race through the line, just slapping hands. Let’s do it right. Talk about this with your team before the game.
• If it is your last game, be positive with your players. Tell them you are proud of their effort this season and congratulate them for making it to the playoffs.

PARENTS

• Cheer for your kids. STOP coaching them from the sidelines. They have coaches. If the ball is in front of them, they don’t need you to tell them to kick it or pass it. Too many sideline coaches confuses the players.
• Let the officials officiate. Our soccer referees have years of experience. Many of them officiate high school soccer, in addition to CYC soccer. They know the rules. If you complain and yell at the refs, we are not teaching our kids to be respectful. Sports teaches life lessons. Learning to accept a call that negatively effects your team is a life lesson. Kids need to learn to cope with adversity. Sports can be that teacher, and so can you.
• Like the coaches, find a way to make the day special. After the game, tell your kids how proud you are of them. Please, no second guessing, criticizing or blaming. Smiles and hugs for your child and high-fives for their teammates.

OTHER IDEAS FOR SPORTSMANSHIP

• The picture above shows two teams after a 2018 softball championship. This is a great display of sportsmanship that shows respect for your opponent and promotes community. Think about a dual-team picture after the championship game.
• If you lose, congratulate the other team members and their parents. Wish them luck at their next game.
• During the pre-game prayer, include the fans. How about a post-game prayer after the handshake line? In the NFL, players from both teams, often gather at mid-field for prayer. What a great way to “exemplify your faith”; another one of our core values.

The CYC playoffs is a way to showcase the best talent in the area. This year, let’s make it the time to showcase our best sportsmanship. We owe it to our kids.

CYC SPORTS - BUILDING COMMUNITIES OF FAITH THROUGH SPORTS