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STen Ways to Be a Good Sport

Katrina Cassel

1. Whether you’re losing or winning, don’t insult the other team.

2. Even if you lose, say “Good game” to the other team.

3. Don’t yell at the referee. Instead, talk to the coach later or calmly ask the referee why he made the decision he did.

4. Don’t yell at your teammates or pass the blame for your mistakes. Give encouragement to your team—even if you’re losing.

5. Play a fair, clean game so whether you win or lose, you’ve done it honestly.

6. If you’re good at a sport, don’t show off. Others will notice without you saying a word or drawing attention to yourself.

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Are You a Good Sport?

by Katrina Cassel

Take this quiz and find out.

Being a good sport means being a good loser and a good winner. How’s your sportsmanship? Take the quiz below to find out.

1. There are 10 seconds left in the game, and your basketball team needs two points to win. You’re under the basket and open, but instead of passing the ball to you, a teammate takes a shot from center court and misses. Your team loses. You . . .

a. yell, “I was open! What’s wrong with you?”

b. go to the locker room to calm down before you say something really rude to him.

c. remember that you’ve made some similar mistakes in past games, and then let it go.

2. You’ve just lost a soccer game to your biggest rival. They’re celebrating by jumping up and down on the field. You . . .

a. know how they feel. Winning is a great feeling.

b. know that they wouldn’t have won if the ref hadn’t made such poor calls.

c. start cooldown exercises to give yourself something else to focus on.

3. Your time in the 200 individual medley (IM) is the fastest you’ve ever swum, and it’s a major win for your team. Everyone is praising you on your excellent time. You say,

a. “I’ve worked hard, and it’s paying off. I’m glad I could help the team.”

b. “I’ve always been the fastest at IM. No one else can touch me in that event.”

c. “Just doing my part.”

4. It’s the last game of the basketball season. Your team is really rocking, and you’re in your groove. You notice a teammate on the bench. He’s the weakest player and has hardly gotten to play. You think,

a. If he wasn’t such a klutz, he’d have gotten to play more.

b. I could ask Coach to put him in for me since we’re so far ahead.

c. Tough break. It’s not much fun sitting on the bench.

5. You’re at a pass, kick, and throw contest. It’s your turn to throw the football. You lose your grip, and the ball weakly spirals 10 yards and hits the ground. How do you feel?

a. OK. Messing up a throw doesn’t change who I am—just my chances of winning.

b. Really down on myself. I should have a capital “L” for loser on my shirt.

c. A little down, but I’ll shake it off. Even the best players mess up once in a while.

Add up your points:

1. a. 0 b. 1 c. 2

2. a. 2 b. 0 c. 2

3. a. 2 b. 0 c. 1

4. a. 0 b. 2 c. 1

5. a. 2 b. 0 c. 1

0-3—Sportsmanship isn’t your strong point. You need to work on handling both winning and losing in a more positive manner. Avoid either blaming others or yourself for a loss or taking credit for a win. Ask God to help you handle both wins and losses graciously.

4-6—You might do OK with victory, but loss is another matter. Neither winning or losing changes who you are or your value to God. Use a loss to motivate you to try harder. And in victory or defeat, try glorifying God.

7-10—You have a good grasp of sportsmanship. You accept losing as part of life, and you avoid blaming others or demeaning yourself. You accept victory in a good spirit, knowing that next time someone else might win. You realize that doing your best is more important than the outcome.

Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, five of their children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle.

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