How can I teach my son to be a good sport?

  • My 8 year old plays soccer and he constantly gets frustrated when he doesn't get the ball or when his team loses. While I know this is normal, I can't seem to get him to understand that he has to be a good sport about it and just have fun. How can you teach your child to be a good sport? Will it just come with maturity or is there something I can do now?

  • I used to be a horseback riding instructor and dealt with this very issue frequently.  I coached between 15-20 kids per year at horse shows.  I made it very clear from day one that they were to congratulate the other kids on their success, and that they were not to express words or demo poor sportsmanship.  I would send them to the motor home or tack room and take the horse from them while they went to rethink about their behavior if i heard them saying negative things about or to another rider, complaining about loosing, and most of all if I saw them express their frustration of loss by getting after their horse.  I'd say I dealt with each situation individually.  There were times where their frustration was valid, and so I would quietly talk to them privately pretty immediately, about "I know that this feels like a lousy loss, or not fair, but right now i need to see you being a good rider, please smile and go back out to the arena to finish the day and we can talk about this more later."  I then immediately gave the student positive reinforcement when I saw them do this.  "Great job Henry, i'm sure next time will be better", "Way to get right back out on coarse", ect.  There were times when i would send a kid home for the rest of the show for being really out of line.  I also really enforced to my older riders how important it was that they be good competitors as they are very potent role models to the younger riders.  It meant a lot more if the sportsmanship talk then came from my older students than from me, and def. more from me than their parents.  Overall I would say that I dealt with sportsmanship directly, immediately and assertively.  There is also the overriding importance of mom, dad, and coach all being online with the child/competitor having good sportsmanship and what will happen if it is not demonstrated.  I hope this helps a bit,  Jess

  • Thanks for the help! I'll definitely try this! He's getting better, but he is just so competitive!

  • Hi

    See you should say him that getting angry and frustrated can spoil his game and such thing hammer you ability and you will lost your stamina which is crucial point in any game. Give him the example of many spots person who career was dull at the starting but later on they became the icon.