It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Everyone wants to be a winner, but not everyone wins. Sometimes we lose, and there is a lesson to be learned in being a good sport. Whether you win or lose, you need to be able to handle yourself in the proper way. If you are a good sport when playing games, you are likely a good sport in life. Following are a few pointers in sportsmanship.
On the field or court:
• Be courteous to other players.
• Know your game's rules and follow them.
• Don't cheat - be a fair player and play your best.
• Compliment the winners and shake hands with them.
• Be polite to your coaches and referees.
• Never blame or criticize other team members.
• Have a good attitude - be positive.
When in the locker room, remember to control your behavior. Your could lose the respect of your coach and teammates if you lose your temper. Behind closed doors:
• Forgo inappropriate language.
• Don't shout.
• Don't throw things.
• Don't make rude gestures.
• Don't snap towels or play rough with your teammates. Pranks and horseplay are not always funny.
• Don't leave the hot water running in the shower.
• Make sure your shoes and equipment are clean and in good condition. Dry them properly to prevent odors and fungus. Hang up your wet towels and clothes - don't throw them for someone else to pick up.
• Keep the locker room clean.
• Protect and secure your belongings.
• Don't spit - it's considered rude and low class.
Rules for good behavior also apply to fans. When in the stands:
• Don't taunt or boo players.
• Make sure you don't block someone's view of the game. If the person behind you asks you to sit down, have a seat.
• Cheer and encourage when appropriate.
Mimi Raghian is a certified etiquette and image consultant at the Northern California School of Etiquette. For more information, call 559-9960 or visit www.NorcalEtiquette.com.