Sportsmanship Definition & Examples: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Sportsmanship is something that can be practiced at athletic events and also in daily life. In this lesson, learn the definition of sportsmanship, and discover ways you can use good sportsmanship with not only teammates but also friends and family.

Play Ball!

Do you love playing sports? If so, you may have learned from coaches and team leaders that how you act on the field or court is just as important as how you play. You may have even heard of the term sportsmanship, a word that means how to treat others you're competing against. There are many different ways of showing good sportsmanship, so let's explore some examples.

Before a Game

Your opponent is the person or team that you are playing against in a game or competition. Chances are, you'll see or even be warming up near your opponents before the game or match starts. This is a great opportunity to show good sportsmanship to your opponents. Before the game starts, walk over and wish them 'good luck' in the upcoming competition. And who says you can't do some warm-up stretches with your opponents? These are examples that set a good tone for the game before it even begins.

Good sportsmanship can be used before a game even starts.
sportsmanship

During Competition

The game has started; it's battle time! Sports and games can be very intense, because all sides are playing to win. However, this is an important time to make sure that you are using good sportsmanship. One way to do this is to make sure you are following the rules of the game. Good sports do not cheat or try sneaky ways to win. They always play fairly.

If an opponent makes a mistake, don't take that opportunity to laugh or make fun of them. Just imagine how you would feel if someone did that to you. Avoid yelling at your opponents, and instead focus on encouraging your teammates to do their best.

These climbers can encourage each other even though they may be competing to get to the top first.
friends

After the Whistle Blows

The game is over, and you're exhausted. If your team won, you may be tempted to gloat, or brag, in front of the other team. However, stop and think about how they might be feeling. Now is not the time to brag. Instead, shake their hands and congratulate them on playing a good game.

These teams are showing good sportsmanship after a tough football game.
sportsmanship

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