Fairness and Sportsmanship
These two words go together like peanut butter and jelly! Whether you are participating or watching a sporting event, it is a prime opportunity to talk to our youth about the role fairness plays in sportsmanship. Each second of a game, the referee, umpire or official is making a judgement call based on what they observe happening in the event. Sometimes the calls can be very controversial! We all remember the Dez Bryant catch - or drop, whichever you perceived. It's vital to not only role model behavior and talk through situations that involve an "unfair" call, but to emphasize that no matter the outcome, showing good character is the number one result. In other words, how you act when a call does not go your way, is just as essential to the game as winning. Most athletes and spectators are competitors, so it is difficult to accept a loss, especially when you feel it was due to the officiating of the game. Keep in mind that officials are human beings and they are not perfect. Our young people will grow into adults, and the skills they learned about sportsmanship will spill over into their career and family lives. Character connects all aspects of our lives. We can't leave our character at the door of a sporting event and blame our actions on poor officiating or the conduct of others. How should you act or what should you say when things don't go your way? What course of action should be taken when you see something unfair? This is a critical conversation to have with our youth!