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.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Blind Side

Dear Good Sports,

Just a quick update to tell you that if you haven't seen The Blind Side yet, run, don't walk, to see it.

Good Sport Dad, one of the Good Sport Daughters and I went to see it over the weekend, combining it with a trip to Lowes and Target to find a new, tasteful Christmas inflatable for the front yard. (Besides Thanksgiving weekend last weekend, this was our first weekend without outdoor soccer or outdoor tennis ... and it snowed!)

We really enjoyed the movie. The theatre was full of people of all ages, and everyone loved it. Do yourself a favor and see if it you get the opportunity.

On another subject, I'm excited to tell you that our marketing for The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship is starting to move forward.

Our press release should be going out in the next week or so, and I am in the process of building a Fan Page on Facebook. (The book's actually showing a rank on Amazon as sales start trickling in -- wow.)

And, as soon as I publish this post, I'll be tweeting about it!

That's it for me. Here's hoping you had a great, sports-viewing filed weekend.


P.S. About 6 weeks ago, one of my car radio's pre-set FM stations changed from music to ESPN. I have to tell you that I've gotten hooked on all the sports talk shows! In fact, I'm wondering what's going to happen tomorrow (Monday) when Allen Iverson plays with the 76ers!

P.P.S. The inflatable is Snoopy and Woodstock in an airplane with a sign that reads "Seasons Greetings." Good Sport Dad assures me it's tasteful. Hum?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good Sportsmanship book just published!

Dear Good Sports!

I am writing you today with some exciting news! I've just published The Kids' (and parents', too!) Book of Good Sportsmanship through Good Manners Kids Stuff Press.

(As I mentioned last post, you probably aren't surprised to see that it's about good sportsmanship -- since this is the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog!)

I was so excited to check Amazon this morning and see that it was live! I've put the link to Amazon on the side of the blog. Isn't the cover cute?

The book is perfect for children between the ages of 4and 8 to read with their parents. The children will enjoy reading examples about the sports and activities done by children just like them, and you'll pick-up some tips, too. At the end of the book you'll find a cute certificate that child and parent can sign together when you've learned all the ways to be a Good Sport. I hope you'll check it out when you have a moment.

The last month and a half was a flurry of activity getting this book and my other one (a children's fantasy, The Month of Zephram Mondays, available at Good Manners Kids Stuff Press) ready to be printed, so I wasn't able to post at all! I hope not to leave you so long between posts again. In fact, I can't believe that the last time I posted was during the World Series.

Guess I'll do my best to check back in before the Super Bowl!


P.S. Looking back over the post for those typos that usually only become blatantly obvious once the blog is published, I see that I used the word cute twice. Hardly a sports-like word. But the cover and certificate really are cute! If I changed one of the cutes to adorable, that would be even worse, don't you think? So, I'm going to leave the cutes there for now!

...although fun could be a fall back choice, too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Dear Good Sports,

As I write to you we have been rained out of all activities for the last 4 days!
Soccer practice, the soccer game, the soccer rain date make-up game and a lacrosse clinic! At least it doesn't seem to be raining on the Phillies as they play the Dodgers right now at Citizen's Bank Park (although the fans are all bundled up because of the cold).

This is just a quick post to stay in touch. In addition to normal back to school and other activities, I've been working on getting 2 books published by Good Manners Kids Stuff press that should be available on Amazon in several weeks. One of the books (surprise, surprise) is on Good Sportsmanship. Nothing preachy, but I think kids and parents will find it cute and easy to relate to!

Quick interruption: the score is 8 - 0 Phillies top of the 6th!

Have no fear, I'll let you know when the books are ready in case you want to check them out.

In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs!

Go Phillies.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Serena Williams and respecting the line judge

Dear Good Sports,

So much has been written and said about Serena Williams's outburst at the line judge the weekend (and also about those other bad, bad manners moments by Kanye West and Joe Wilson) that I don't know what shatteringly new ground I can cover or new insight I can give you here on the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog -- except for this one important point:

Respect the Officials!

We need to let our children know by our words and actions that it's never alright to talk back to, swear at, or threaten an official. Never.

Okay -- you may agree in theory. Of course, you say, I would never ever say something like that to an official at my child's game/meet/performance. No need to remind me!

But -- what about in practice? Think about last week's soccer game, or the swim meet in July. Did you disagree with a call or a penalty? Did you grumble that the other team got away with something because the ref missed it? Or, maybe when your daughter came in second at the gymnastics competition, you were angry with the judge.

Maybe in practice we really aren't so great!

Courtesy is a hard rule to follow when our kids are disappointed, we're disappointed -- and truly, maybe the official did make a mistake or two.

But so much of how we act in sports and around sports teaches us life lessons that carry over into how we live the rest of lives: lives in which we'll always come across situations where we are judged unfairly or need to learn from our mistakes (and need to control our frustrations and tempers). How we handle and learn from those situations can determine how successful and happy we can be.

That's why recognizing that the Referee/Umpire/Judge/Official is a person who should be respected for their skills and knowledge is an important rule to teach our children and remember to follow ourselves.

The disappointing thing about Serena's behaviour is that because she is a role model for our children, she puts us in the tough position of having to explain that her behaviour in that instance is not acceptable (as much as we may have understood her emotions and anger at that moment). Whether she's asked for it or not, she carries a certain responsibility to her young fans. And, unfortunately, it was just one more very prominent example of how rudeness and bad manners seem to be taking over our society.

Now, respecting the official may not be easy to do if you're used to making comments. Or, if you've also allowed your child to grumble and make comments. But there's one basic courtesy to follow that should make it easier for both of you: if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all!

Instead, focus those negative comments and energy into what your child and/or team did do well, or on what she learned, or what he can work on for next week, and you'll have a much more positive outcome and experience.

I'm hoping that my next blog will continue on the theme of "sports and sportsmanship as life lessons" unless some other bad sports moment happens again and needs to be discussed.

Until then,respect the refs -- and have fun!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Swimming and Good Sportsmanship

Dear Good Sports,

I'm sure that most -- if not all -- of us watched last year's Summer Olympics in Beijing, especially the swimming with Michael Phelps and Dara Torres.

And, of course most -- if not all -- of us remember the records they both broke and the honors they received.

But for some reason, I completely missed this event for which Dara was honored by the ICFP, the International Committee for Fair Play.

At the women's 50m freestyle event, Dara's competitor, Therese Alshammar of Sweden, had a swimsuit malfunction. Dara convinced the officials to delay the start of the event so that Therese could take care of her problem.

I think Dara's action that day says a lot about her personal values and ethics. It's also a great reminder that the goal of the Olympics, as stated in the Olympic Charter, is to promote and contribute to the practice of sport in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

It made me wonder: If that was in the Olympic Charter, what's mentioned in our sports teams' charters?

I decided to research swimming in honor of Ms. Torres. I found charters and mission statements for pools and swim teams from New York to California -- and they all shared variations of the same themes:

*... Empowering young people to be champions in life through excellence in swimming ...

*... Promote interest in the spirit of the sport and fairness in competition

*... Hard work, improvements and personal accomplishment can be more important than winning ...

*... Losing sight of good sportsmanship means the program is not worth sponsoring ...

*... Good sportsmanship for all participants -- swimmers, volunteers, coaches and spectators -- is mandatory ...

*... Foster and promote the values of good sportsmanship, honesty, perseverance and integrity ...

*... The good sportsmanship, honesty, courage, commitment, and perseverance developed through swimming will prepare our young people for the challenges they will face later in life ...

I'll end this sample list with the most important point of all:

*Good Sportsmanship is for all participants: swimmers, volunteers, coaches, parents and spectators!

I think it's really important for our children to know that if Dara Torres demonstrates these values during the most important competitions of her life, when she really wants to win, then we and our children can, too!


P.S. The ICFP was established in 1963 to promote "the principles of fair play which are essential to sport."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good Sportsmanship Tee Shirts

Dear Good Sports,

Here's an idea that Elmira City School District in New York uses to help promote Good Sportsmanship:

Each week, a boy and a girl who demonstrate good sportsmanship are given a tee shirt in honor of their behavior.

It's all part of a program they developed that won them a New York State Sportsmanship Award from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

I think this a really great way to put some fun focus on good sportsmanship for your team's players.

At the start of the season tell the children that the player who shows the most good sportsmanship will be awarded a special tee shirt at the end of season party.

You can have the players come up with the criteria of what they think it means to be a good sport for their sport. You could ask them to design the tee-shirt. You could even have them vote on who should win it (although you may want to have Coach involvement/override so that it doesn't become a popularity contest, defeating the purpose).

By involving them in the project and keeping them excited about the award, it helps the children naturally focus on how to practice good sportmanship. Suddenly, it's not just something the grownups want them to do (and will forget about, they hope), it's something they may even start to do without consciously thinking about it!

So that it becomes part of who they are as a player -- and the values they have as a person. It could all start with a tee shirt. What could be simpler?

Let me know if you try it for your team. I'll be excited to hear how it works.


P.S. For another team idea, check out the Good Sport Bad Sport water bottles on
P.P.S. If enough of you contact me with your tee shirt designs, maybe we could have a contest for the winning shirt design!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good sportsmanship -- more than just sports

Hello, Good Sports!

As many of us get ready for a new school year (hard to believe that some schools are already back) I wanted to share some information from an article by Dr. Michele Borba about "Poor Loser attitude."

Now, you can probably guess what Poor Loser Attitude and the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog have in common: poor losers are bad sports.

And you can probably guess what Poor Loser Attitude and the new school year have in common: poor losers in football, soccer and other fall sports.

But there's another reason to talk about Poor Loser Attitude and the new school year.

Poor loser attitude isn't just about sports -- it's a trait (or ailment, according to Dr. Borba) that affects children's attitudes in class, in relationships and other activities, too. And a new school year is the perfect time to rid your child of his or her bad attitude.

Dr. Borba lists 7 solutions to stop poor loser attitudes and boost sportsmanship but I wanted to talk about this one because I think it's a great reminder for us all:

Stopping Poor Loser Attitude starts with us (you and me).

Children learn much of what they know and how they act from us at home. If we parents make excuses for our behavior or blame others, or criticize Coach -- what do we think our children learn? A new school year is a great time for us to stop our own poor loser attitude -- and start providing good modeling moments for our children.

So, parents -- I'll be making sure that I'm a little more careful about what I say and do, doing my part to keep Poor Loser Attitude away from our house.

I hope you will, too.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good Sportsmanship Award

Dear Good Sports,

I receive Google Alerts for various topics and I wanted to share this one with you.

Included in the Alert for good sportsmanship was an article by Jeff Edwards of the Natchez Democrat (Mississippi).

The headline of this article was "Natchez 10-year-old All-Stars win Sportsmanship Award."

The Natchez 10 team played in the Dixie Youth State Tournament against other All-Star teams their age from the state. The tournament also included 8 and 12-year-old-age groups as well who were eligible to win the award.

According to the article, the Houston Stuckey Sportsmanship Award (named in honor of the late Houston Stuckey, the Dixie Youth state director) is voted on by the tournament umpires and officials and awarded to the team whose players, coaches and fans "best exhibited integrity, character, discipline and sportsmanship."

Natchez Dixie Youth Commissioner Porky Smith said " ... the kids acted like young men when they got to the park, when they were on the playing field and when the game was over, win or lose. You didn't see any pouting. They showed they were fine young men, and they're just 10-year-olds."

(The players didn't win the tournament, but finished runner up.)

As "feel good" as this article is, that's not why I really wanted to share it with you. The reason is this last comment from their coach, Gary Farmer:

"... it all starts at home ... (the parents) raised a good group of younguns ... I have 12 great kids who have some great parents. They were always 100% behind the kids as well as the coaches."

Just a little reminder of the important role we Moms and Dads play in our children's sports development, sports enjoyment and sports behavior.

Until my next Good Sport (or Bad Sport) post,


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fall Soccer

Dear Good Sports:

How are you? I apologize for not being in contact with you for a couple of weeks. We were away on vacation and are just getting back into the swing of things.

On the Home-Sports Front, Coach Dad just signed up to be Assistant Coach for our younger daughter's soccer team. Practice and games start in September. It's hard to believe that school and Fall Sports are practically here already!

On the General-Sports Front, I need to wrap my head around several sports topics and check in with my contributors about their future blogs. Consequently, this post is tiny -- so I hope you'll check back soon for a bigger, more interesting post!

Until then,


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have sports stopped being fun?

Dear Good Sport,

I read an interesting article online by a gentleman named Carleton Kendrick (on

The topic was "Why Most Kids Quit Sports," and I wanted to share it with you.

He quotes an alarming statistic from The National Alliance for Sports: 70% of children quit playing league sports (hockey, football, baseball, soccer and other competitive sports) by age 13.

The number 1 reason why? Because it stopped being fun.

We've placed so much emphasis on performance that many children feel they can't live up to the expectations of their parents and coaches.

We've placed so much emphasis on learning skills that we've squelched the passion of learning the sport.

We've placed so much emphasis on competition that we've forgotten how much fun it is to just get out there and play!

So in honor of Summer Vacation, why not help your kids put the Fun back into Sports!

Whether it's a pick-up game with friends or having a catch in the backyard with Dad or an older brother or sister, the emphasis should be fun. No stressing about the rules, no stressing about their performance -- just playing for fun.

There's always time during the rest of the year to emphasize everything else -- but this Summer, a little play time just might be the right time to help your kids remember that sports are fun.

And, ultimately, it can help them stay in love with sports and remain physically active throughout their lives.

Until I post again, here's wishing you a happy, fun and active Summer!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Coach's tough decision

Dear Good Sports,

I was out with some parents the other day and heard something that I wanted to share with you.

At one of the children's recent games, one of the players really had an attitude. He was acting out a lot and wouldn't listen to Coach Mary. He was really disrupting the game. He even started walking off the field when he was annoyed. Coach told him if he left the field, he was out of the game.

I'm sure you know what came next: with that ultimatum, the boy turned and walked off.

The Coach called in a sub and the game continued.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that about 5 minutes later the boy returned to the game and fully expected to be allowed back into the game. But Coach Mary remained firm: "You disobeyed me. I told you what would happen if you left the field. You chose to leave so you can't play anymore today."

Now -- this boy is a star player. When he left the game, his team started losing. By keeping him out of the game, the team lost. Of course, some of the other parents and kids were mad that she wouldn't let the boy back into the game.

Coach Mary stood firm with her decision. The player needed to respect and listen to his coach and behave in a way that helped his team, not hurt it.

I'm sure you can see Coach Mary made a tough decision -- and understand why she did it, even if, in your heart of hearts, you might not have wanted the team to lose and think you might have been a little more lenient. She surely didn't want the team to lose, either.

But by showing the boy that his actions had consequences by enforcing the consequences, Coach Mary made the hard choice to potentially sacrifice this game for, hopefully, a better, stronger, happier season and team going forward. (A lesson that can extend into behaviour off the ball field, too.)

Maybe not a popular choice, but certainly the right one.

Blog you again, soon, with some more Good Sport Bad Sport topics.


P.S. Our book on Good Sportsmanship is being published by Good Manners Kids Stuff Press and will be available on Amazon soon. Watch our posts for more information or visit to read all the behind the scenes activity behind the publication.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't make my child play defense

Dear Good Sports,

It may shock you to hear that parents sometimes freely offer up their opinion to their child's coach as to what position their child should or should not play.

You're shocked, shocked, you say.

Who would do that, you wonder. Who?

That person would have some nerve, you say. How obnoxious.

Except that ... my son really wants to score a goal.
Or ...
My daughter is bored waiting for action at the other end of the field.

Those are different situations -- surely the coach understands and will put my child on offense. After all -- he/she really wants to do it.

Well, Coach understands all too well that the kids (and the parents) may have some preconceived ideas about the positions they want to play (or want their kids to play).

No one would argue that there's something spectacular about the winning touch down by the quarterback and the running back. Wanting that for your child is completely understandable (and okay, maybe re-living your dream is understandable, too).

But there's a whole field full of positions that make just as vital a contribution to that winning play as the quarterback and running back. And the children will never know if they could excel at them if they don't ever have the opportunity to play or learn them.

My husband, Bill, was at the Lacrosse Coaches Wrap Up meeting this evening. One topic of discussion was the fact that some of the parents demand that their children don't play any of the defensive positions.

Now, this is coaching for the younger, beginning players -- not for older, experienced kids. The league rule is and always will be that all kids play all positions. However unpopular this rule always is with outspoken parents, this year was no exception. The league position is that it gives the kids a chance to learn and understand the complete game -- and gives them the opportunity to find out at which position they're really good (had to retype that so as not to end with a preposition --I was an English major, after all).

The funny thing is that the child of one of the most adamant parents turned out to be REALLY good at defense, rather than attack. If the coach had given into the parent's demand, the little girl would never have found out how good she was at defense. And when she excelled, she really started loving lacrosse.

So what's the Good Sport Bad Sport blog message tonight?
Your coach is always right.
(Just kidding. Coach Bill wanted me to say that.)

But seriously -- in this instance, Coach is right. So, let your child play defense. She'll also get a chance to play offense. And you'll all get to see which position is best for her.

Blog you soon with another Good Sport Bad Sport Topic,


P.S. "The Coach is always right" is not to be confused with "The Coach always makes my child play defense," a topic that we'll cover in another post.

P.P.S. Our book on Good Sportsmanship is being published by Good Manners Kids Stuff Press and will be available on Amazon soon. Watch our posts for more information or visit to read all the behind the scenes activity behind the publication.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thoughts on Good Sportsmanship by Kim Ryan, PE Teacher

Dear Good Sports,

I'm excited to introduce our first Guest Poster!

Her name is Kim Ryan. She is the PE Teacher at New Eagle Elementary School where our family goes. As it's the season for Field Days (she ran New Eagle's yesterday), her observations on good sportsmanship are right on time.

Thoughts on Good Sportsmanship
by Kim Ryan, Elementary PE Teacher, New Eagle Elementary

When I ask one of my students what a good sport is they usually tell me one of the following – all of which are true: It means
- Shaking hands after a game
- Not bragging
- Playing fair
- Not being a sore loser
- Saying good game
What about:
1. When someone else wins – that doesn’t mean that they cheated.
2. Being respectful of the game and the other team - not bending or stretching the rules to get an edge or trying to annihilate or run up the score on the other team.
3. Athletes complementing each other on a move, play, and win - whether they are a team mate or not.
4. Be genuinely happy for someone else winning.
5. Not always tagging or getting out the people you know you can get out – challenge yourself to get that really hard player.
6. Sometimes letting someone score just because you know it’s that much harder for them and they hardly ever score.
7. Include everyone on your team – whether they are really good or not.
8. Cut someone else a break – especially when they aren’t as good as you at something.
9. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves without tooting your own horn.
10. Being a respectful winner and loser.
Unfortunately too much emphasis is placed on whether a team wins or loses. When we ask students/children how was the game they always answer with whether they won or lost. I feel we need to turn the focus on the game itself. Spend more of your conversation on were there any great plays, saves, moves, what player really impressed you, are you proud of any plays you did, did you try any new strategies or skills you’ve been practicing, etc. The spirit of the game and how it is played is what is important – not necessarily the score at the end. It’s kind of like life – I hope my students grow up to be kind, considerate, respectful, compassionate, hard working, honest members of society. In my opinion sports should be a reflection of how I hope my students will live their life.

Many thanks, Mrs. Ryan, for your insights which can --and should --be followed by kids of all ages!

Check back soon for more Good Sport thoughts, comments, stories, and more!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lost and Found

Dear Good Sports,

Yesterday we received an email from the head of the youth lacrosse league.

Now that it's the end of the season, she sent a Lost and Found List to let us know what's been left at-- and collected from -- the fields over the last two months.

If anyone is missing one of the items -- such as a retainer case -- please contact her for its return.

The retainer case made me chuckle. Unless it was at a game last weekend or a practice this week, I wondered how a parent or child wouldn't have realized it was lost -- or 'fessed up in the case of the child -- before this!

(I always think the same thing when they empty out the Lost and Found at the end of the school year. There are major winter coats on that table -- how would the child make it home during the cold weather without it?)

Anyway, it got me thinking about the scene at the end of games and practices -- a scene repeated at every sport or activity everywhere, I'm sure!

It's chaos! The kids' primary thought is to get a drink and a snack (understandably) ... the parents (understandably) are interested in getting everyone in the car to drive off to the next activity. The coach (ultimately) is left gathering up the equipment and picking up the snack trash -- as quickly as possible since the next team is waiting for the field.

Now, if everyone did their share -- helping pack up the equipment, being responsible for their own snack wrappers -- clean-up would be a breeze.

And that retainer case would have made it home!

Just a thought.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The all-important team cheer

Dear Good Sports,

I write to you on our first sunny day in forever! We've had days and days of rain, on and off for two weeks.

We were able to work outside, clean-up the gardens, plant flowers and spread mulch. We have a lot of poison ivy that I hope we avoided.

Also, my husband and our younger daughter finally had their first lacrosse game in two weeks this morning They'd been unable to play or practice because of the weather. My husband is her coach and they love sharing it together.

But because they haven't had a chance to play for two weeks, it's also been two weeks since the Great Cheer Debacle of 2009. And Coach Dad has been getting more and more nervous as time goes on.

The Great Cheer Debacle of 2009 happened two weeks ago and he hasn't lived it down yet (or, more accurately, our friends whose daughters are on the team, haven't let him live it down).

The day started innocently enough -- with no premonition of the trouble ahead. The girls played well. But at the end of the game, instead of gathering together, they ran straight over to the Snack Mom who had brought fresh, hot-from-the-oven soft pretzels.

Meanwhile the other team obediently circled their coach and gave a loud cheer for the coach, the refs and the other team. Then they lined up to start the "good game" stick cross with our team.

Meanwhile, our team was struggling with their pretzels and putting their straws in their juice pouches, with sticks and gear and water bottles scattered around.

Coach Dad tried valiantly to get the girls together, to catch up so that the other team wasn't waiting long in line for our team. Finally they straggled into a circle but no one started the cheer together, and then he said one thing and they said another, and then they weren't very loud because their mouths were full of soft pretzel. Last, he called them last year's team name, instead of this year's team name (which our daughter unfortunately pointed out to him after she swallowed her soft pretzel) -- an honest mistake, I think, when you know that last year's team was the Red Hots and this year's team is the Hot Shots.

You can imagine how over two weeks the Great Cheer Debacle of 2009 was becoming an albatross around his neck. No chance to get back up on the horse, so to speak, because they were rained out.

Last night our friends gave him some pointers and made up some cheers for him (some appropriate, some not) and then he practiced with our daughter this morning. He managed to stop the rush to the Snack Mom (munchins from Dunkin Donuts) and I'm happy to report that Potato Chip, Potato Chip, munch munch munch, we just played a might fine bunch -- go (insert other team's name) went well -- and the Great Cheer Debacle of 2009 is hopefully fading into a gentle memory.

(Until someone brings it up.)

It's funny what the cheer represents -- it's not just the cheer itself, but the respect doing it shows for the other team, coaches and refs. It's tradition, it's fun and no game is complete without it. So I'm glad we got our "cheer-on" (or should it be "cheer-back") today.

Talk to you later,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

National Anthem at the Phillies Game

Dear Good Sports,

As promised, I am posting after getting back from the Phillies Game this evening where my daughters' choir sang the National Anthem.

(My husband and I are also fast forwarding through American Idol, which we taped while we were gone.)

The choir sang beautifully and we were so proud. The Phillie Phanatic broke through the lines of the choir kids to joke around with our younger daughter who was in the front row. It got up on the Jumbotron. (She's taking a picture of it into school tomorrow.) Our older daughter got a close-up on the Jumbotron, too. The Phillies won, the weather was perfect -- all in all, a great evening!

Ironically, it was my younger daughter who made an observation that is perfect to include in on the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog:

Whenever a certain Phillies player came up, it sounded like people were booing him. But what they were really saying was his name, Raul.

We laughed over this confusion on the drive home. But then my younger daughter said, "I felt sorry for the other team because whenever they got a run, everyone booed them. That must make them feel so sad."

Now, although Philadelphia fans are notorious for their bad bad behaviour, tonight they weren't so bad -- probably since we won by so much.

Sure -- the booing and etc. is all part of the game experience, and shows your support for the home team.

But I just thought it was an interesting observation from a nine-year old, thinking about how the other team would feel. About the ways we're supposed to treat each other.

So I leave you with that thought until next time.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Welcome to the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog!

Dear Good Sport,

Welcome to the first post of the Good Sport Bad Sport Blog!

I am very excited to launch this blog today. I think it will provide an important place to share thoughts and advice about how to raise our little athletes to become Good Sports.

It's also going to be a good place to talk about our behavior as adults! Why? Because an article I saw online yesterday about parents being banned from the sidelines of their daughters' soccer game because they yelled at the Referee makes it clear that Good Sportsmanship is not just about the kids -- but about the grownups, too!

From time to time Guest Bloggers will stop in to offer their perspective. And I hope you'll share yours as well. (Feel free to leave your comments or sign-up for email alerts, an RSS feed or to be a follower -- we'd love to have you.) We won't be preaching ... in fact, I hope you come for the laughs as well as the advice and observations.

I'm planning my next post after my daughters sing The National Anthem at the Phillies Game next week. We're all very excited -- and hopefully fans and players alike will be on their best behavior!

Your Good Sport Blogger,


P.S. If you're interested in more children's manners "stuff" or want to have a chuckle over bad manners, check out and