Respect & Sportsmanship

In addition to sending out curriculum reminders to the coaches for the upcoming month of practices, our Technical Director Paul Nicholson asked coaches to begin exploring the club’s VALUES with their teams.  As a reminder for all of us, here are the club’s VALUES: 

  • Leadership – Empower yourself and others to enjoy success on and off the pitch. 
  • Respect – Treat each person with dignity and courtesy. 
  • Creativity – Think outside the box with innovation and imagination.  
  • Integrity - Do the right thing. Follow the golden rule. 
  • Passion – Energize, engage, and inspire yourself and others.

These can be found on our website, in our program descriptions, and in other media.  They are core to our club mission – to positively impact the development of youth in our community by providing soccer and educational opportunities to young players of all ages and playing abilities and to create a lifelong passion for the sport of soccer. 

Over the next couple of weeks, our coaches will receive several Value Activities to utilize with their teams to explore the value of RESPECT.  Here is the first: 

Respect Activity #1 

Coaches have been asked to spend a few minutes before or after practice and ask them the following questions: 

  • What comes to mind when you hear the word respect? 
  • What are some ways you can show respect with/for the following? 
  • Teammates, Opponents, Coaches, Parents, Referees, Facilities  

Naturally, responses will vary by age, (I can’t wait to hear back from our U8 coaches) but regardless of the answers or the ages, the next step will remain the same… 

  • How can we as parents support the value of RESPECT with our children? 
  • How can we foster SPORTSMANSHIP (respectful participation in sport or game) in our athletes? 

An easy start to supporting your coach’s efforts on the field is by continuing conversations at home about good SPORTSMANSHIP and how to show RESPECT.  During the car ride or at the dinner table might be good opportunities to ask your child what they think the word RESPECT (or SPORTSMANSHIP) means and how they can display it.  When watching sports on tv or in person with your child, point out examples of good sportsmanship and bad…and talk about both. Encourage your athlete to work on simple actions, both on and off the field, which can help to continue the theme.  Here are a few of these actions: 

  • Always Give Your Best Effort 
  • Don’t make excuses or blame others for poor results 
  • Encourage others and avoid criticizing 
  • Follow the rules (extend to school, at home, board games, and sports) 

Remember that while the team coach can work to guide values during practices or games, most young players still shape their behaviors from us…their parents.  Modeling RESPECT and SPORTSMANSHIP for them shows that it is genuinely valued at home. Parents who emphasize good sportsmanship help young athletes learn respect for others and self-control. These skills can help them manage other parts of their lives, and help them develop into mature, respectful, and successful young adults. 

Here are some additional resources that you can explore to find more information regarding engaging your young athlete in understanding good sportsmanship and the value of RESPECT. 

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