Being a Good Sport

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If you’ve ever played any type of game, from little league to checkers on a rainy Saturday, I am sure you have heard the saying “be a good sport” a time or two. To me, that phrase brings to mind the feeling of being cheated (whether your brother actually cheated at the checkers or not 😊). But what does it really mean? What are we trying to teach our kids by saying that, and are we really being good sports when we go to work every day?

I have to say this: Being a good sport is one of my biggest challenges in all aspects of my life – my personal life, my work life, and the lives of my kids.

It is ingrained in most of us that when we do a good job and really feel like we should “win,” it is a disappointment when we don’t, or when WHAT we do goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

I am trying to work on being better at finding joy in other people’s accomplishments, even if that person is in competition with what I am working toward. Because really, life is not a competition, it is a story. Everything we do is a story we are writing for ourselves; do we want to be the protagonist or the antagonist? Sometimes, as in every good story, we will be both. I struggle with the fact, though, that I will fight for the underdog until I take my last breath, but it is harder for me to fight for those people I just don’t like.

How do you “be a good sport” when you have conflict? How to you rise above it all? I want my girls to learn how to do this better than I do for sure! It is an ever-changing balancing act between being a good sport, throwing a fit because you feel cheated, or letting people take advantage of your niceness. I can honestly say I have been all three of these people in my life, in childhood and as an adult.

As moms to these little sponges we call children, how do we keep up the “good sport” attitude when our kid gets picked last for gym class games or doesn’t get the lead in the school play? They are our kids; we all think our kids are the best kids in the whole world. But we have to teach them to deal with losing sometimes and NOT SEE IT AS FAILURE, but as building blocks to success. To teach them to never give up, to always be kind, and to be a good sport because they never know who might be watching them and learning from their example.