Team sports are one of the best things that kids can be involved in because of the valuable life skills they learn. Being a good leader, and learning about good sportsmanship, resilience, and courage, all culminate in kids becoming good teammates.
However, being a good teammate doesn’t always come naturally. It’s important to foster good teammate behavior when your kids begin youth sports, as these qualities will transcend beyond just the game and apply to many aspects of their lives. Read on to learn more about how to teach your child to be a good teammate.
What Makes a Good Teammate?
Being a good teammate is all about having good sportsmanship. This means supporting teammates when they are playing well, but also when they make a mistake. “It’s easy to cheer on your peers after scoring a goal. The challenge is showing support when your teammate misses a shot.”
Although good sportsmanship is learned on the field and through team interactions, parents can also have a hand in promoting good teammate behavior.
One way to encourage good teammate behavior is in how parents give praise. “Parents should praise their kids for being good sports and cheering on their teammates, as opposed to how many points they scored in the game,”.
Rather than trying to coach their child and tell them how to play, parents should focus on trying to instill a positive attitude in their kids.
Modeling Good Teammate Behavior
Sometimes the best way to get your kids to do something is to show them. Parents can model good teammate behavior during playtime. Whether it’s playing a game of Monopoly or a friendly game of family basketball, modeling a positive outlook, support and respect for all, and grace with losing or winning, you can show kids how to embody being a good teammate in real time.
Watching Sports Games
Another way to teach your child to be a good teammate is by watching sports games together. Next time your favorite sports team is playing, tune in with your child and point out specific examples of good sportsmanship as you see it happening.