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How to Model Good Sportsmanship for Your Kids

Good sportsmanship is key to a positive Little League experience, and that begins with the parents. Here are 5 ways you can model sportsmanship for your kids.

Good sportsmanship is critical for positive Little League experience. We want the absolute best for our children.

Although it would be cool if they became starting shortstops in the MLB, it's invaluable that we take this opportunity to teach them leadership, respect, responsibility, and other values that will serve them for a lifetime.

Teaching sportsmanship begins with the parents. Read ahead for five ways to set an example for your kids.

What Is Sportsmanship?

Sportsmanship is about respect for the sport. That includes respect for the teammates, opponents, players, fans, referees, judges, fields, and even the locker rooms.

It's a commitment to decency and fair play above all.

Five Tips on Raisings Respectful Athletes

There are many ways to teach sportsmanship. Here are five general ways to do with a few stories of sincere respect among athletes.

1. Show Them What is Good Sportsmanship

People learn what they see. If a child is exposed only to people to exhibit poor sportsmanship, they will only try to copy them.

Teach your child the importance of sportsmanship early by teaching them about stand up players. Instead of rooting for bullies and cheats, show them examples of exceptional sportsmanship examples throughout history.

Here are just a few examples of moments when players and organizations displayed inspiring character and respect.

Derek Jeter's Send-Off at Fenway Park

There are few rivalries in sports as heated as that between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Derek Jeter, legendary baseball player and Yankee great, has been a less than popular figure in Boston during his career. Despite this, he opted to play his final game at Fenway, home to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox brought out all the VIPs, including retired stars, to give Jeter a worthy farewell, and he took the time to say good to every player. This highlights the importance of respect despite competitive and dogged rivalries on the field.

Remembering The Chapecoense Fallen

On November 28, 2016, LaMia flight 2933 crashed near Medellin, Colombia, with over 77 passengers. Among them were nearly the entirety of the first team and staff of the Brazilian soccer club, Associação Chapecoense de Futebol. Only six people survived.

The Chapecoense team was on their way to play in the Copa Sudamerica championship match for the first time in their history. Winning this tournament is one of the highest honors that a South American club can earn.

The tragedy devastated the soccer world, and their would-be opponents, Colombia's Atletico Nacional, respectfully forfeited the match and Chapecoense was awarded the coveted trophy. The things we take for granted can be lost in seconds, and suddenly sports and wins don't seem all that important.

Pete Goss

Many great athletes don't play on a field at all. This is the case of Pete Goss, a renowned British sailor, and adventurer.

Goss was participating in the prestigious 1996 Vendée Globe yacht race that spans the Antarctic Ocean. A French sailor, who wasn't even officially inscribed in the race, shipwrecked in a severe storm.

Despite precarious conditions, he selflessly abandoned the competition to join the search. Thanks to his courage and sailing ability, he found he sailor two days later stranded on a liferaft. The French government awarded him the Legion d'Honneur for his actions.

2. Integrity On and Off The Field

Sometimes it is much easier to show integrity when everyone is watching. Teach your kids how to be respectful when the cameras aren't rolling, the crowds are gone, and when it's not the popular thing to do.

Children are often exposed to bullying. Certain hazing traditions go far beyond harmless initiation rituals. Teach your child the difference between playful companionship and cruel bullying.

Great athletes support all their teammates, from the star players to the benchwarmers. The best ones use their voice and their leadership to stand up for those who need it most.

Lebron James

We all know about King James' reign of the courts. But he is also a proud father and philanthropist.

He is an active supporter of several non-profits, and he founded the Lebron James Family Foundation. His charity funded the I Promise School, an elementary school designed to help struggling students. He would go to say this was his greatest achievement in life.

He is also an outspoken critic of social issues, such as racism and inequality. A TV personality responded to one of his statements by saying that he and other professional athletes "just shut up and dribble" instead of talk about politics. Fortunately, Lebron isn't planning on shutting up but will keep inspiring young athletes to have a voice.

Kobe Bryant

The entire world was shocked by the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Vanessa, and the other passengers on that fateful helicopter crash.

Athletes, coaches, owners, and fans came together to mourn and show respect. Kobe was admired for his dedication to excellence and skills on the court. However, it soon became evident he was so much more than a basketball player.

His efforts off the court include charity work, empowerment of underprivileged children, and he even won an Academy Award for producing Dear Basketball, an animated short film.

3. Don't Be That Parent

If you ever attended or participated in youth sports, you definitely know who we are talking about. There is always at least one person making a complete mockery of themselves and the sport.

They scream profanities at the referees for every call that doesn't go their way. They sometimes even get into fights with other spectators and, pathetically, child athletes.

Naturally, your child will mimic your behavior to a certain degree. So, take it easy with the jeering and the unnecessary gloating.

4. Priorities

It seems somewhat ironic. However, one of the surest ways to foster sportsmanship is to teach that sports aren't everything.

Kids must know that there are a lot of things more important than winning trophies and setting records. Otherwise, they are less likely to value respect and honor.

Try teaching your kid a hierarchy of values. They have to know that, among other things, respect, family, responsibility, and education are more important than sports. This will help them put things in perspective when they lose or fail to meet their goals.

5. Positive Reinforcement

Remember that everyone is human and makes mistakes.

If you play sports, you have likely been there before. Maybe someone on the other team has been talking badly, and, in the heat of the moment, you commit a reckless foul, penalty, etc.

If our kid does this or gets into fights, the natural tendency might be to punish them. Modern psychology tells us there is a better way to educate our kids.

A Love For The Game

Good sportsmanship makes the game better for everyone. Sure, talking a little smack or doing a little dance after a play isn't going to hurt anyone.

Just make sure your child knows the difference between good fun, competition, and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Check out this blog for more articles Little League and being and baseball parent.

The Little League World Series is unique for a lot of reasons. For starters, it's about the only time you'll see pre-teens featured on ESPN.

It's also a way for both U.S. teams and international teams to come together and share the game they love. Where else will you find a game between Hawaii and South Korea?

In 2018, Hawaii claimed the crown. When the 2019 edition kicks off in August, there's no telling what will happen. Little League baseball is as unpredictable as any other sport.

The unpredictability can be instructive. Both children and adults can learn lessons from baseball during the games in Williamsport. Here are five of the best ones.


1. You Won't Hit a Home Run Everytime at Bat

In real life, you might expect every day to be a smashing success. But baseball and life are a lot alike. There will be days or weeks when you strike out.

The highest Major League Baseball batting average of all time belongs to Ty Cobb. He had a batting average of below .400, and he's still considered one of the greatest ever.

A good swing isn't enough. Sometimes, you also have to wait for the perfect pitch.

2. Don't Play for the Cameras

12-year-olds don't play baseball the same way as adults. Obviously, they aren't as good as someone who plays for the Red Sox.

But they also aren't as aware of the cameras. There are memorable players, but the showmanship feels more wholesome at 12 than at 22.

They aren't just there to "have fun." Every player who makes it to Williamsport wants to win.

They train hard, but they're also still kids. They don't (or at least shouldn't)  play with all the weight of an adult in the big leagues.

3. Failure Teaches You More

When you win, it feels great. Losing feels terrible, especially on a stage as big as the Little League World Series.

But you generally learn more from the missed opportunities. The grand slams are fun to watch on TV. But the muffed catches stick in your head more.

That can be good or bad. Failure can haunt you if you aren't careful.

The trick is to learn from that failure and become a stronger, more resilient player and person.

4. Support Your Teammates

Sure, there are a lot of cliches about team sports. But when done right, the sense of unity can be inspiring.

If one player fails, then strong teams will treat it as a collective mistake.

If the mistakes are on the team, then so are the successes.

5. Take It One Inning at a Time

The score in the first inning might not be indicative of the score in the sixth inning. If you get behind early, you have to keep going.

Don't try to make up all your lost ground at once. Do the best you can to chip away slowly.

It sounds corny, but the only thing worse than losing is giving up. Play until the game gets called.

More Lessons from Baseball

Everyone who plays the sport learns at least a couple of lessons from baseball. Baseball life lessons can even occur off the diamond.

Of course, the Little League World Series isn't only about life lessons. It's also highly entertaining for players and spectators alike.

You can enhance the entertainment value by bringing baseball pins to trade in Williamsport. Contact our team for a free trading pin quote.


With so many kids wanting to stay inside and play with their electronics, it's hard to get them moving. Here are 8 reasons why youth baseball may be the answer!

In recent years, youth baseball has been forced to compete with several other sports while trying to win over the hearts of kids everywhere. Basketball and football have become increasingly popular and have cut into the total number of kids playing Little League baseball.

However, baseball is still the most popular sport in the country as far as kids are concerned. A 2016 study showed that baseball and softball actually combined to be the most popular team sport that year. And it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.

There are so many great reasons to sign your child up for youth baseball if you haven't done it already. Let's take a look at 8 of those reasons now.

1. Youth baseball is good for a child's health

It might not always look like it when you're sitting down and watching a game. But there are many movements that take place in youth baseball that will benefit your child's health.

From swinging a bat to throwing a ball to running around the bases, your child will be in motion all the time while playing baseball. This will get their heart rate going and help them build up their endurance. It will also help their muscles get stronger and make them more flexible.

2. It will help them improve their coordination

Kids aren't born with good hand-eye coordination. They need to learn how to be coordinated, and playing youth baseball is one of the best ways for them to do it.

Just about every single aspect of playing baseball involves some level of coordination. Whether you're judging where a fly ball is going to land or keeping a close eye on a pitch coming towards the plate, you need to be able to demonstrate good coordination to be a successful baseball player.

Kids who play baseball at a young age are able to develop coordination skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

3. It will force them to put their electronics down

There are far too many kids today who spend their entire lives playing on electronics. And while there are some benefits to doing it, there is also a long list of negative effects that kids can suffer from if they spend too much time looking at a screen.

Some of these negative effects include:

It can feel almost impossible to get kids to put their electronics down these days. But offering them the opportunity to play youth baseball is one effective way to do it.

4. It will teach them about working with a team

When kids grow up, they will likely need to be a part of a team every day at work. But unfortunately, many kids don't learn how to demonstrate teamwork when they're younger.

Baseball is a sport that requires teamwork during each and every inning. You need to be able to rely on others to do their job out on the field, and you also need to make sure you're reliable and your teammates can trust you to do your job.

From the moment your child starts playing baseball, their coach will preach about the values of teamwork and show your kid why teamwork is such a beneficial part of the game.

5. It will allow them to make friends

Not every kid is going to be a star Little League player. There will be some kids who, quite frankly, don't blossom into excellent players. But that doesn't mean they won't walk away from the game with something!

There are many kids who make lifelong friends by playing youth baseball for even just a few years. When your child plays baseball, he or she will need to communicate with others on and off the field. This will help them form strong bonds and will, in all likelihood, translate to them making good friends.

6. It will show them the value of good sportsmanship

There are going to be times when your child wins in life. There are also going to be times when they lose. They need to know how to act in both scenarios, and more importantly, they need to know how to be good sports.

This is another thing your child isn't going to be able to learn without experiencing both winning and losing from a young age. Playing baseball will allow your child to see what the highs and lows of life feel like.

It will also give you the chance to talk to your child about showing good sportsmanship at all times. It will show you how your kid handles winning and losing and allow you to step in and speak about the importance of treating everyone with respect, regardless of whether you win or lose a game.

7. It will educate them about respecting authority

While youth baseball players will ultimately decide the outcomes of games, there will be several adults who will play a part in their success. Coaches and umpires will be at every game to help guide the way, and it will be important for kids to show the proper respect to these adults.

When your child plays baseball, he or she will need to learn how to listen to instructions from the coach. Your child will also have to learn how to listen to what umpires say and treat them respectfully, even if they make calls that don't go their way.

8. It will be, above all else, fun

While all of the reasons listed here are important, this is really the most important one of all. Youth baseball can teach kids a lot about life. But at the end of the day, it's the fun that kids have that they will remember for a long time.

If your child doesn't have enough fun in their life, sign them up for baseball. It won't be long before they're having a great time every time they step on to the baseball diamond.

Encourage Your Child to Play Youth Baseball

Do you want to make sure your child has as much fun as possible when they start playing baseball? You can do it by being a great Little League parent. You can also do it by providing your child with pins that will allow them to show off their love of the sport.

Contact us to check out the incredible pins we have in stock.

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