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Learning correct sporting conduct at a children’s sports camp can have great benefits for participants.  Positive attitudes and correct sporting conduct make sport more enjoyable for everyone.  As well as creating the best environment for learning and development.  However, some players can ruin the experience with poor behaviour. Examples of poor behaviours could include harassing others, poor sportsmanship, foul language, bullying, taunting, victimisation, undue pressure and more. Bad conduct in sport is generally the result of the limited reinforcement of strong sporting values from a young age. This lack of direction manifests throughout adolescence and can create a ‘grey area’ for what is acceptable on & off the sporting field or court. Encouraging your child to play sports, especially team sports, is a great way to teach them many important values that will help them in all areas of life! In addition, to allowing them grow into well balanced, respectful and productive adults. So, what can you do to help teach your kids good sporting conduct and sportsmanship? The first thing to do is to reinforce that sport is not all about winning! Of course, we always want to win at everything we do. However, most importantly, we want our kids to have fun, make friends, and stay fit and healthy! And, constantly reinforcing this ideology, by always praising their sporting efforts, rather than their sporting victories, will only create a positive association and love for sport.  This will assist your child in enjoying a lifetime of enthusiasm towards playing sport. So, in today’s article we’ll discuss further examples of correct sporting conduct in junior sports, and how these values are taught and reinforced at our ASC Sports Camps.

“Fair Play: Fair Go”

Our philosophy at ASC is that all kids & parents should participate in “Fair play, Fair go” when playing any sports. ASC’s Fair Play ideology is simply, “winning isn’t everything”.  If you must cheat to win, then it will be a shallow win. When playing sport, you should always play by the rules of the game and do everything you can to be the best player, within the rules of the game.  Also, this can apply to grey areas of the game where there may not be a specific rule.  However, comes back to being fair and honest. Cheating or bending the rules in any way should never be encouraged in kids’ sports.VIC Kickstart Soccer Futsal Program, Prahran #2 The ‘Fair Go’ premise means always giving everyone the chance for involvement in sport! In junior sports, there will always be players of different abilities and size playing in the same teams.  Therefore, it’s important that every child gets a fair go with participation, having fun and developing their skills. Coaches, parents and teammates all have a role to ensure that everybody gets to join in and feel like they are contributing to the team.   We reinforce, the “Fair play, Fair go” initiative amongst participants at every single ASC sports camp. Our amazing & qualified coaches and staff help to strengthen this understanding.  By, always promoting positive sporting conduct during drills & games! Also, by getting everyone participating and encouraging all players to support each other. In addition to possessing a zero tolerance approach towards any bullying and harassing type behaviour. Bullying in sports can be very harmful. To learn more about ASC’s behaviour policies, please click here.  

Winning & Losing in Sports

Earlier in this article we’ve touched on the importance of enjoying sport.  It’s about fun and health. And, not solely based around winning and losing. However, winning and losing is obviously an integral aspect of competitive sports. So, the importance of learning how to win with humility, and lose gracefully is essential to building a strong positive sporting conduct philosophy. In sport, it’s important to try your hardest and we always want to strive to be the best we can be. However, it is inevitable that sometimes we’ll lose. When this happens don’t get angry or look to blame your teammates, the referee or coaches. Accept it with pride, congratulate the winners and look at areas that you can improve upon next time! The below quote is from 5-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant, in 2018 about losing in sport.  It helps to demonstrate the importance of learning from defeat, rather than getting upset about it. “It’s exciting, (losing) because it means you have different ways to get better. There are certain things you can figure out, that you can take advantage of, certain weaknesses that were exposed that you need to shore up. So, it’s exciting. It sucks to lose but at the same time, there are answers there if you just look at them.” – Kobe Bryant A similar approach of humility should be taken when we win sporting contests too. To put it simply, no one likes a gloater. When you win it’s fine to celebrate with your teammates and family, but don’t rub the other teams nose in their defeat. Be respectful, always shake hands and congratulate them on a good game. Ultimately, we should treat others the way we’d also like to be treated. Whether it be on the side of a win or loss.  

Encouraging Teammates

Team sports work best when everyone supports the team. Encouraging your teammates to play their best and to get back up when they fall is what being a great teammate is all about!  So, it’s best to avoid criticism and unkind actions when a teammate makes a mistake. As this behaviour won’t help anyone. Instead, by praising what they do well and encouraging their efforts, you can boost your teammates self-esteem and confidence when they make mistakes! Also, we need to remember that nobody is perfect. And, that we’re not above making the occasional mistake ourselves either. Especially in junior sports, where feelings of embarrassment and shame can be heightened by negative behaviour after a mistake is made. So, it’s important to go over and encourage your teammate with a friendly pat on the back when they make a mistake. So, they can regain their confidence and focus on the next play! We encourage this behaviour at ASC camps through our coaches’ leadership during drills. So, participants are welcome to cheer and support each player during games and competitive drills. Usually with an incentive that the goals or points in a game won’t count unless the players are encouraging each other.  Which usually lays the groundwork for creating a fun atmosphere.  Where, the participants are naturally encouraging each other by the end of the 3-day camp. This is always so rewarding and fun to see amongst camp participants! And helps kids to create & strengthen friendships within groups.  Plus, it also helps them perform at their best, and provide an overall fun and rewarding experience for all partakers!  

We do hope that you enjoyed this article!

Strong sportsmanship and promoting positive sporting conduct in sports are philosophies that we take very seriously at all ASC camp programs. Our camps are designed to provide structured skill-improvement camps where participants have fun whilst developing a deeper love and enthusiasm for their chosen sport! So, if your child has a passion for sport and wants to participate in more advanced and structured drills, sign them up for one of Australian Sports Camps 3-day school holiday camps!  Additionally, you may have questions regarding our camps. Also, for all other enquiries, please contact us on 1300 914 368! We look forward to seeing you at an ASC camp this coming school holidays!