Saturday, October 23, 2010

STARS Good sportsmanship initiative, PBSkids interview

Hello, Good Sports!

We're right smack in a busy fall sports season, enjoying not just football and soccer -- who can forget that the major league baseball playoffs are in full swing (awful pun, sadly intended)!

During this weekend there's something on TV or a sport to go to for almost any sports fan! Could there ever be a better time to think about Good and Bad Sportsmanship or see it in action?

I wanted to share a great article I came across about the S.T.A.R.S. Sportsmanship Iniative.

STARS stands for Student-Athletes Advancing Respect through Sports.

According to the article, the program was developed by America East "...based on the underlying belief that good sportsmanship habits must be instilled in athletes at a young age."

(America East is an NCAA Division I conference with a commitment to broad-based, competitive athletics programs, complementing the academic integrity and missions of the member institutions. It has nine member institutions: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.)

Through the STARS initiative, young athletes will be invited to special events where they will meet college student atheletes. Events and activities include:

* Attending a sportsmanship school where young athletes will learn about good sportsmanship and receive a certificate to show they graduated

* Youth athletes attending campus sporting event alongside college student-athletes to learn how to root for their team respectfully

* Youth athletes participating in a collegiate pre-game handshake line so they understand the importance of treating opponents with respect

* Publicly recognizing youth athletes who have demonstrated good sportsmanship on and off the field

* Youth athletes reading the America East sportsmanship pledge over the public address system prior to games

Congratulations to America East for putting such an important focus on good sportsmanship and young athletes.


P.S. I was interviewed for an article by about good sportsmanship because the author came across my book The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship. I'll let you know when it is posted.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Good Sportsmanship Reminder

Dear Good Sports:

As families start their fall sports, I thought it was a great idea to post these comments from the Boonsboro Soccer League as a handy reminder for parents and children everywhere:

A good sports program is one that will not only teach children the basics of the game, but one that will teach children to respect one another, be good sportsmen and good athletes, a good person to everyone they meet ... A well rounded athlete will learn how to deal with everyday problems and be a more courteous and civil person as well as player on the field. They will not be as aggressive or hog the ball when others want to play.

There are times when a little aggression is needed in any sport in order to make a goal or get past an opponent for a score. But there are other times when aggression is not warranted anywhere on the field or off and penalties and consequences are dolled out to players who play too rough. It’s a coach’s job to make sure player realize that aggressive behavior is not what a game is all about. Soccer is a game of fun and the main reason most of the kids join a team. Winning is nice, but it is not everything."

Of course this was written for a Soccer League but it's a great reminder for all sports teams about how to act, and that how you act on the field can carry over into how you act in life.

Boonsboro Soccer League feels their league "...teaches respect for one another as well as oneself while building the players self confidence and playing skills ... Having the basic skills as a soccer player is good, but having team spirit, sportsmanship and the willingness to allow other players to take the spotlight once in a while is a mark of a great athlete and a team player."

Lots of good stuff to remember as football, soccer, field hockey and more start!

P.S. If you have children or grandchildren ages 4 to 8, our book The Kids' (and Parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship is very popular for parents and children to read together.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lacrosse in full swing, US tops bad sportsmanship list

Dear Good Sports,

How are you? Here in the Good Sports house, Spring Sports are in full swing, and our book, The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship, is proving to be the little engine that could! That's been very great news, but it means I've been so busy that I have been very bad keeping up with posting here!

We had the younger Good Sport Daughter's lacrosse game today. It's the second one and it's amazing how the girls are really picking up the game this year in 5th and 6th grade. It was quite windy and chilly but we survived. (If you can believe it, it was 49 degrees but an ice cream truck kept circling the field. Not a single girl asked for ice cream!) Good Sport Dad is the coach and has been laboring over the rotation. He got an official jacket this year, complete with his name embroidered on the sleeve. We are still working on the team cheer. They're saying something -- but it's not quite clear what.

The older Good Sport daughter has been learning tennis over the winter and is excited to start playing outside for a change. The whole family has been going over to the Valley Forge Military Academy track to run (Dad & daughters) and walk (me).

But while all this nice, calm, happy stuff has been going on, I found out that there was a recent Reuter/Ipsos poll that bad behavior by parents at youth sporting events is more likely to occur in the United States than in any other country.


A quote by John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos: It's ironic that the United States, which prides itself on being the most civilized country in the world, has the largest group of adults having witnessed abusive behavior at children's sports events. There is clearly a fine line between participatory enthusiasm and abuse and parents, as role models, have got to keep in mind and keep themselves in check for the sake of their children.

And, at the same time this week, we had the story out of a Phillies game that an abusive fan allegedly vomited on an off duty police officer and his young daughter.

So -- as we start to enjoy all our Spring sports, don't forget to remember what kind of behavior is acceptable -- and what isn't. (Then, maybe next year we might not top the list!)


P.S. We've started offering The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship as a fundraiser. If you're interested for your team or township, please email us for more information.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Sportsmanship in ... Science

Hello, Good Sports!

Today I want to switch gears and write just a little bit about Good Sportsmanship -- not in Sports, but in Science!

I came across an article about a District High School Science Olympiad Tournament where the winning team gave the second place team a standing ovation during the awards ceremony.

It would have been easy -- and human nature -- for the winning team to celebrate their win and not even think about the other team (except for maybe some polite applause or an unfortunate boo). They'd studied hard and deserved their win. But the fact that they looked outside of themselves and the situation to honor a worthy opponent says worlds about their character and the adults who have guided them over the years.

(I forgot to say that only two points separated the two teams from each other, and the win could have very easily gone the other way!)

I imagine it made the second place team feel better about their performance by having their hard work recognized by the winners and also giving them a well-deserved moment of celebration. After all, although they lost, they had studied hard to get to the Olympiad, and their participation was deserving of a place in the spotlight, too.

So, being a Good Sport doesn't just happen on the playing field. It's values and behaviors that we and our children can use all throughout life!

And that's my little post about Good Sportsmanship and Science! I just had to squeeze it in while it was still fresh in my mind before the Olympics start tomorrow!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good Press for Good Sportsmanship

Dear Good Sports,

I wanted to share a review by Perry Perkins, a writer for the Portland Examiner, of The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship, here.

Perry had expressed an interest in seeing a copy of the book, and I was very excited when he contacted me with his review much sooner than I expected. I can't thank him enough!

Word about the book is starting to spread via cutting edge technology (press releases on the web, links, blogs, forums) and simple, practical efforts (one of the Good Sport daughters and I spent the afternoon dropping off book marks at two libraries, the grocery store, a pizzeria, and a toy store, while last week a book store took some actual books to sell). I'm planning a fundraising kit offering the book, a discount that goes to the event and a Good Sport Bad Sport water bottle that I hope to start offering to day cares, schools and sports associations.

(Speaking of cutting edge technology, it's allowing me to multi-task right now by blogging on the web while we watch the New Orleans Saints and the Vikings play for the NFC championship. Not sure who I want to win because the Good Sport Aunt and Uncle and Cousins are transplants to New Orleans ... but the Vikings have their Brett Farve story. And I like purple.)

The younger Good Sport Daughter is starting indoor lacrosse next week, and the older Good Sport daughter is taking tennis lessons, so I'm sure that I'll very soon have some real life good sport/bad sport examples to share.

In the meantime, enjoy the football game! (And, I hope you'll check out the review if you get a chance.)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Enter to win a free copy of The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship

Dear Good Sports,

Just a quick post to let you know that The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship has been entered in a free giveaway contest on Goodreads, a social website for book lovers of all kinds.

The deadline to enter is January 15th, so if you're interested, check out the site.

I'll be back in the New Year with more good and bad sport news and observations.

Happy New Year,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good Sportsmanship is Everyone's Responsibility

Dear Good Sports,

While we are enjoying our surprising and exciting down time due to today's blizzard (and while the family puts off cleaning the basement and playroom) I thought it's the perfect time to post a little blog about Good Sportsmanship!

This popped up in my Google Alerts for Good Sportsmanship: The City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Sports Registration Form.

A Form? Usually just articles pop up, so I was surprised to see a pdf of an actual registration form. But, in this instance, I couldn't have clicked on anything more interesting or informative.

At the top of the form, below the City's header and above the words Sports Registration Form is the subhead: Good Sportsmanship is Everyone's Responsibility ... Be a Good Sport

Then, within the form on the front is this section requiring a signature:

I promise to demonstrate good sportsmanship by being a positive role model and encouraging you to play and have fun while supporting you
and your team in both victory and defeat.
Parent/Guardian Signature Date

Then, the entire back of the form is devoted to Good Sportsmanship. The left side is the Player's code of conduct, the right side is the Parent's code of conduct.

Wow -- it's awesome! They're really taking Good Sportsmanship seriously.

Check it out here: The City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Sport Registration Form.

The Form really sums it all up! In fact, it makes it so obvious, I don't really even have anything to add. Which means I can't put off cleaning for blogging any longer.

Enjoy the snow if you are in one of the affected parts of the country! Hopefully we'll speed through cleaning and go sledding soon.


P.S. Unabashed plug: The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship makes a great gift for kids and parents. Just click the book link to order.