Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 Days to Surviving Sports Seasons Sanely: Revel in Sportsmanship and Character

In 2015, I've been considering how to *revel* in all aspects of our lives. We've learned about reveling as rebellion against the culture and finding a deep joy and satisfaction in. Children participating in sports does not really seem to be a rebellion against the culture and there is often disappointment to be found there ... like when a team doesn't score a goal until midway through the season.

So, how can we *revel* in this lifestyle? First, we rejoice in small victories and improvement. We aren't necessarily about the "participation trophy" but we do encourage seeing improvements in their own skills and thinking. We rejoice in seeing how they treat teammates and opponents. We celebrate success and commiserate with defeat. 

But for the rebellion against the culture, we rebel against the "win at all costs" thinking and attitude that can often be found within children's sports. I’ve alluded to it before. We have had some examples of sportsmanship that were not exemplary. A regular mantra of, "the referees are always right, even when they're wrong, they're right" is regularly heard on our tongues.

We have had to teach children that grownups behave badly sometimes.

We have had to teach them that while winning is fun, losing is not the end of the world.

We have had to teach that being a good sport is better than not.

They have learned to be truly happy for the success of others on their teams, congratulating teammates who score.

Two of our children play goalie. We have to teach that it isn’t their fault if the team loses and that they can’t beat themselves up.

They have learned compassion on an injured player - on either team.

They always shake hands and say good game with the other team. Sometimes kids slap hands hard or say bad game.  They’ve had to learn that sometimes kids behave badly.

N-boy's coach this year has them thank the refs. Classy.

Working hard, doing their best, rejoicing with a teammate who scores, consoling a teammate who was scored upon, being supportive. These are all character areas we’ve talked about

Being prepared to confront these issues and many others calmly and righteously during a season is an important part of Surviving Sports Seasons Sanely. As a mom and a Christian, it is important for me to be studying the Word and praying for wisdom so I can instruct and encourage my children in their joys and their sorrows.  I want to enjoy - to *revel* - in my children's sportsmanship and increase of character.

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!

Proverbs 15:23

I hope you've enjoyed reading this series and have maybe learned a trick or two as much as I've enjoyed writing it (and learning from it, too!). Blessings to you as you and yours live lives together.


  1. This series has been a great combination of ideas to ponder and practical tips, Dawn! Sports can often just seem like another thing to do - it's good to think about the character-building opportunities there, and how to point our kids to Christ in the joys and frustrations they face.

    1. Thanks, Anna. Glad you've enjoyed it and found it helpful.


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