Sportsmanship

By Jeanne Ehn
Executive Director, Iowa Cheerleading Coaches’ Association

“Statements to Help Sportsmanship” has been created to be read by respected athletes, cheerleaders, and students in your school before the start of any athletic contest.

Our school has the person read the “tip” right before the National Anthem is sung. We’ve found it easiest if the student reading the statement picks it out, and if need be, adjusts the words so they feel comfortable saying them. Obviously, the meaning of the statement should not be changed. When a statement is read, we cross off the number or put a star by it so it isn’t repeated.

You are welcome to use these tips and create ones to add to the list. Share them with another school if you wish. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me – jehn@heartofiowa.net. Good luck!

1. Good sportsmanship should be easy to do, but it isn’t. The desire to win is strong, but your self-control should be stronger. Don’t be a loser at the sportsmanship game. Think before you yell something negative. Be a good sport.

2. Cross country runners come in with “sportsmanship” letters – all mixed up. Hi, we’re BCLUW’s Cross Country team and we’re running for good sportsmanship! Sometimes you can get all mixed up, (wait until they un-mix and spell sportsmanship correctly) but in the end, good sportsmanship is the way to go! Everyone can win in the sportsmanship game – just follow us – we’re in the lead!

3. Volleyball &/or football: Hi, I’m ___________________ of the BCLUW volleyball/football team. Every team loves it when their fans cheer for them, but it’s the best when the fans are positive. Forget the negative, be a good sport.

4. Spoken by 2 or more kids in unison: Hey fans, we’re asking you to make a choice – The positive choice. Don’t lose at the game of sportsmanship.

5. Every person in attendance tonight has a choice – to be a good sport or a poor sport. Why be a loser when being a winner is so much more fun. Be a winner in the sportsmanship game.

6. Just because you see negative sportsmanship on TV, doesn’t make it right or acceptable at our school. Be a great sport. Be a winner.

7. Our team would like to ask everyone to be a good sport. Sure, everyone want to win, but that’s never an excuse to put people down. Don’t be a loser at the sportsmanship game.

8. Good sportsmanship is simply anger management. Keep everything in the proper perspective. Negativism breeds more negativism and then frustration for everyone. The desire to win is strong, but your self-control should be stronger.

9. Here’s a thought for everyone: Every student participating tonight is someone’s son/daughter. Would you like it if the fans went crazy yelling negative things at your child? Treat everyone participating with respect. That includes the opponents, officials, coaches, team, and cheerleaders.

10. Hello everyone, I’m ________________ and in just a few minutes I’m going to be on the sidelines leading cheers with the cheerleaders. I’d like to invite you to be a part of one big voice cheering for our team. Why be an individual voice when many voices cheering together will be so much better? Don’t be a loser at the game of sportsmanship.

11. One of the traits of sportsmanship is courage. Courage is having the determination to do the right thing even when others don’t. The strength to exhibit fairness, to be courteous, and gracefully accept the result of a contest. Be courageous; be a winner at the game of sportsmanship.

12. A trait of sportsmanship is integrity. Integrity is having the inner strength to be fair and courteous during athletic events, to act positively and honorably to not only your team, but to the officials and your opponent. Be a winner in the game of sportsmanship.

13. A sportsmanship thought: A ticket is a privilege to observe a contest and support your coaches, team, and cheerleaders. It’s not a license to verbally assault others. Be a good sport.

14. A good sportsmanship thought: Everyone wants to win; so be a winner. You can always win at the sportsmanship game; it’s your choice.

15. A poor sport yells negative things at opponents, players, coaches, and officials. Is that really the way you want people to think about you? Think about it.

16. The sad thing about poor sportsmanship is once you’ve been there, people always seem to associate it with you. Is that really what you want? Loser — or Winner. Think about it.

17. A good sportsmanship thought: A great sport has self-control and looks at an unfavorable call as a part of the game. Everyone makes mistakes: including officials, players, and coaches.

18. Good sportsmanship is a learned experience. Attitude is infectious. By having a positive, supportive attitude at a game, you will have helping everyone be a good sport.

19. Are you a fan or fanatic? Support, encouragement, and respect for all involved are the primary roles of the fan. Think about your reactions during a game. Now you make the call.

20. Good sportsmanship is just anger management. Think before you say or do something you’ll regret. Don’t be a loser in the sportsmanship game.

21. Parental support is vital to an athlete’s success. Cheer your athlete on with positive words of encouragement. Be a winner in the sportsmanship game.

22. (This one might be good to say if a student is not available.) Here’s a sportsmanship idea: Encourage the surrounding people to display only good sportsmanlike conduct. Wives what are your husbands doing? Husbands, what are your wives doing? Sounds like a system of checks and balances to me. Let’s all be winners in the game of sportsmanship.

23. Great sports have self-control and look at unfavorable calls as part of the game. Everyone makes mistakes; including officials, players, and coaches. Don’t be a loser at the sportsmanship game.

24. Loser? (pause) Winner! Be a winner in the game of sportsmanship.

25. Be a class act. Be a good sport. Be a winner in the game of sportsmanship.

26. This is ________________ from the ______________ team urging you to be a good sport. We have a lot of pride in our school, so don’t destroy it by saying or yelling something negative at the other team, officials, or even our team. Everyone present today/tonight can be a winner in the game of sportsmanship.

27. Respecting each other is something we learned to do in elementary school. The idea of good sportsmanship is simple: respect your opponents, officials, team and teammates. Let’s not forget what we learned. Be a good sport.

28. Age doesn’t matter in the game of sportsmanship. Everyone in attendance is a participant. Be a good sport. Don’t be a loser in the game of sportsmanship.

29. Here’s a good sportsmanship tip: It takes courage to control your emotions in the heat of the game. Showing frustration only creates more frustration. Support your team in a positive way. Be a good sport.

30. A sportsmanship tip: Keeping your composure is one of the greatest things you can do to help your team whether you are a coach, athlete, or fan. Think about it. Be a winner in the game of sportsmanship.

Good sportsmanship traits:

Applaud during the introduction of players, coaches, and officials, and at the end of the contest for the performances of ALL participants.

Accept all decisions of officials.

Support the team in a positive way – yell with the cheerleaders.

Great sports have self-control and looks at an unfavorable call as part of the game. Everyone makes mistakes; including officials, players, and coaches.