|Sportsmanship is treating others like you want to be treated while playing sports. As skill level and competition increase in sports, the ability to display good sportsmanship becomes more difficult for youth (and adults).
Sportsmanship is dependent on respect – respect for the rules of the game, for your teammates, coaches, officials, the other team, and even respect for yourself as a player or a fan. Sportsmanship is an awareness that on the field or the sideline, your actions, attitudes, and behavior affect everyone else, how they play, and how they enjoy the game.
You help set the tone for the game, and you are a reflection of your team, school, and community. Chances are they all want to be considered stewards of good sportsmanship. They don’t want to earn a reputation as a bad-attitude team of poor sports. Bad reputations are hard to shake.
Poor sports play and live by the “win-at-all-costs” mentality, and that can be dangerous. Stewards of good sportsmanship live by the “STAR” model: Stop, Think, Act, Replay.
What does that mean? Good sportsmanship is achieved when a person Stops and Thinks before he Acts, and he Replays this thinking methodology whenever he has an important decision to make in sports or in life.
The STAR Sportsmanship™ program teaches the STAR method of thinking to student-athletes of all ages, parents, coaches, youth coaches, and officials. Nine years of research involving two million students, their parents and coaches went into developing the STAR program, and results show that it works.
STAR is the leader in sportsmanship curriculum in America’s schools, and the only sportsmanship education tool that uses online, interactive sports activities to engage the audience while covering topics such as teamwork, discipline, respect, good decision-making, nutrition, steroid and drug prevention, and bullying.
State associations including the AHSAA, MISSHSA, KHSAA, LHSAA, PIAA, UIL (Texas), FHSAA and NCHSAA are implementing statewide STAR Sportsmanship initiatives. Many have gone so far as to mandate the STAR program as an eligibility requirement for student-athletes and coaches. They have witnessed the unprecedented success STAR has in eliminating ejections and fines, and improving the spirit of sportsmanship.