(NAPSI)-There may be good news for people concerned about what they think is a lack of sportsmanship in America.
A program created to reward and recognize sportsmanship on and off the field has developed a set of practical steps that parents and others can take to encourage fair play in youngsters and adults alike.
Tips To Help
• ABCs of sportsmanship. Teach sportsmanship as part of the fundamentals of the sport. Sportsmanship isn't naturally learned and must be taught daily.
• Go team. Parents should cheer for the team, not just their child, to teach the importance of being part of a group.
• Reward the positive. Give game balls, provide privileges for the "best sport of the game" or give the opposing team an award.
• More than the handshake. Start new end-of-the-game rituals that highlight sportsmanship. From creating a special song to a new ceremony, create an atmosphere that's positive.
• Be a reporter. Call or e-mail the media when witnessing great displays of sportsmanship to spread good news.
• Form a sports support group. Join forces with parents, coaches and community leaders.
Consider the advice of LaVell Edwards, the legendary former coach of the Brigham Young University Cougars football team and chair of the blue-ribbon panel that selects the winner of the national ARA Sportsmanship Award. The award is given annually to a college senior who excels at sportsmanship on and off the football field.
Said Edwards, "This is an issue we need to address at the grade-school level and with coaches and parents everywhere."
The Good News
A higher percentage of Americans (83 percent) report they have witnessed positive displays of sportsmanship than have seen bad sportsmanship (78 percent).
That's according to a national sportsmanship survey fielded by TNS for the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA), an international trade association whose members are specialists in recognizing people through awards, trophies and other forms of appreciation.
To learn more, visit www.arasportsmanshipaward.com.
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