Respect & Sportsmanship

The Super Bowl is over, which means we can finally focus on more important things… like basketball! No matter what sport you prefer, there are so many life skills that can be learned from having the opportunity to play in individual or team sports. After watching the Super Bowl, I kept the TV on to look at some of the post-game interviews. I was shocked when I saw an interview being done with Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. For those who do not know, Mr. Newton is the current MVP of the NFL and a Heisman trophy winner. He definitely knows a thing or two about winning and success! So, I was very disappointed to see his attitude after losing the Super Bowl.

Being aware that a “poor sport” is not something that you learn overnight, it made me think about how many times in Cam’s career did he have poor sportsmanship when not getting the results that he wanted. I’m sure there were games when he was a little boy that he did not win. Did he throw a tantrum then? Did his parents or coaches every talk to him about how to handle disappointment?

As I took this interview in, it made me think of our youth today. Someday, the next generation will be on their own making decisions that will reflect their formative years. The lessons they are learning at home and school, shape their character, which ultimately creates the adult they will be. As a therapist, I talk to children about “owning up” and taking responsibility for their actions, however these years are still considered a time of training. Here are some things to think about as parents and people of influence to children:

*Does your child respect authority?

*Does he/she say “Please”, “Thank you”, “Yes Ma’am”, “No Sir”?

*Does your child know how to be a good sport, whether he/she wins or loses?

*When your child is faced with adversity, does he/she know how to find the positive and pick oneself back up?

These are the years to teach our youth how to handle themselves during the times of success and failure. Although their name is on the line, how they respond in situations is still a reflection on how they were raised. As parents, educators, and mentors, we owe it to them to give them all the tools they need, and teach them how to use them, so that they will have the skill set to appropriately use these tools for the rest of their lives!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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