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Sportsmanship On and Off the Field

Students can practice sportsmanship in various places, including on the field and in the classroom. It doesn’t need to be just about sports, because it can be applied to a variety of different situations. For example, when things get competitive in the classroom, while students are playing a game with their friends, or when students are given certain rules to follow.

But how can you teach students sportsmanship?

The answer is WIRE: wisdom, integrity, respect, and encouragement.

These are concepts that we’ve all heard of, but how can students apply them?

Wisdom — use good judgement and knowledge of what is right when making decisions. Sometimes students face situations where they have to use what they know to make the best decision, such as practicing “hear something, see something, say something.”

Integrity — abide by principles that demonstrate honorable conduct and moral character. Teaching integrity can be as simple as explaining that not following the rules takes away from the goal. For example, if a student wins a game by cheating, what is the win really worth?

Respect — interact with others in a way that shows sincere regard and consideration. This can be applied to every interaction a student has.

Encouragement — support and motivate others to have the confidence they need to achieve goals. This might be the easiest part of WIRE, but not of little importance. Encouraging others to do their best can be as easy as cheering on a friend or congratulating the winning team.

Sporting events are a great place for students to practice these virtues, but they can be applied to the classroom, at home, and later on in life.