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​Sports should be FUN!

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Sports should be FUN!

Learning Manners and Social Skills to be COOL!

I greeted all the kids as they came in to class. They were all talking about how glad they were that it was spring and they were able to play sports more often. They were also excited that with summer coming, they could enjoy being outside playing sports and being with friends even more.

The last time we met we were talking about ways to help a school be cool.  A lot of ideas and suggestions were offered by all of the kids.  I started the class by asking, “Of all the places we talked about last time, which are most important for helping your school be cool?” Tanner said, “All of them! Kids are behaving badly and not being cool or kind in all areas of my school.”  I replied, “So maybe we need to tackle each area of a school campus and find out what we can do to make that area a cool, kind, safe place for everyone.”  All the kids agreed.

Making Sports Cool, Kind, and FUN!

I added, “Since its time for more sports, let’s start there.  How many of you are playing sports?”  It was hands up all around.  Stephen said, “I love sports.  I play in my neighborhood, in school, and on a traveling team.”   The kids began comparing what sports and where they were playing.

I then asked, “What are some things that make playing a sport fun?” Tanner responded, “Playing with friends.  But don’t tell someone they can’t play if you don’t know them.  Invite them to play and make a new friend.” Carmen agreed, adding, “Excluding someone hurts their feelings.  That’s not what a ‘Cool Kind Kid’ would do.” Rudy added, “Sports can be fun and cool when we are kind to each other.”

Nicole shared, “For a game to be fun, everyone needs to play fair.”  Francie said, “That means following the rules and playing by them.”  Roberto added, “It’s fair to take turns, share, and not cheat.”  Carmen then said, “We need to give everyone a chance to do their best.”  Tanner added, “Yes! like not playing favorites.”

Good Sports are Cool

The kids were all emphatic about what would make sports fun and cool.  I then asked, “What would you put into a ‘Cool Kind Kid Player’s Pledge’?”  Rudy jumped up and cheered, “GO TEAM!  Be a good team player.”  Tanner added, “Learn the rules and do your best.”  Stephen said, “Listen to the coach and accept officials’ rulings.” These are all things that help us be good sports.

Nicole said, “Don’t brag when you win or score a goal; nobody likes a showoff.”  Roberto added, “Good sports congratulate the winners, even if they’re bummed that they lost the game.” “Yes," agreed Tanner, “And shake their hands with a smile and tell them they played a great game.”  Rudy said, “Good sports don’t blame others or make excuses when they lose; they accept the loss and say, ‘Next time we’ll do better.’”

Poor Sports are Uncool

I wrapped up the class by asking, “What do you think a poor sport is?”  All hands went up. Tanner was first to answer, “Kids who do the opposite of all the things a good sport does are poor sports.”  Rudy shared, “Poor sports get mad if they miss a hit or a goal, they don’t learn the rules, and don’t practice.”  Nicole looked sad as she added, “They often tell other kids they can’t play because they aren’t good enough.  That’s happened to me and it hurts.” Carmen said, “I know how it feels to be teased, picked on or excluded, sometimes even bullied, while playing with kids I thought were my friends.”

Tanner added, “If you’re a poor sport, no one will want to play with you or be on your team.”  Stephen continued, “I’ve seen the coach and other players be mad at a kid who was a poor sport.” Being a poor sport doesn’t make kids feel confident about playing, or about having friendships with teammates.

FUN Sports equal Cool, Kind Behaviors

We’ve covered a lot of scenarios about playing sports here. Each of you has contributed some great ideas for making sports fun and cool. Francie summarized by saying, “Good sports are ‘Cool Kind Kids’ who show respect to coaches, officials, and teammates. They care about each other, and want their sports to be fun for everyone.”

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