10 ways to practice the Olympic spirit
Posted by Dean Holden at February 24th, 2014
by LetsPlayHockey.com, 20 February 2014
From new Minnesota heroes to dreams of gold, the Olympics have given us much to watch and look forward to over the past week. The epic triumphs, crushing defeats and inspiring attitudes of our American athletes have reminded us what makes sport so special.
It isn’t just about winning medals. It is about how the dedication and perseverance of athletes can inspire so many people’s lives away from sport.
As one of the Olympic principles says, the most important thing about sport is that everyone has the right to play, “without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
As we move into playoffs and end of the year jamborees, emotions are sure to be high. We challenge each of you to channel that Olympic spirit into our youth hockey arenas in order to create the best experience possible for our young athletes.
Here are 10 principles that coaches and parents can use to promote good sportsmanship by displaying it themselves and teaching it to their kids.
1. Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment. I will encourage and support the child’s desire to play his/her chosen sport but will not pressure him/her into participating.
2. I will remember that the game is fun. I will not taunt or disturb other fans, or embarrass any child by yelling at players, coaches, or officials.
3. I will support and promote Fair Play by encouraging players to play by the rules. I will display good sportsmanship by applauding a good effort by both teams in victory and defeat, and respecting players, coaches and officials.
4. I will remember that “wins” are based on performance, teamwork and playing within the rules, not a scoreboard.
5. I will recognize the importance of volunteer coaches. I understand that when my child is on the ice, the coaches do the coaching. I will not yell instructions to my child from the sidelines or give my child instructions counter to those of the coach.
6. As a coach, I recognize the responsibility I have to watch over my players and teach them all facets of the game. I will maintain a focus on participation and development over wins and losses.
7. I understand that it is my role to teach the players sportsmanship, how to deal with success and failure, and to support their development in the game.
8. I will strive to become knowledgeable about the rules of the game and support the official’s decisions on and off the ice.
9. I will respect locker rooms as private areas for players, coaches and officials.
10. I will not place unreasonable expectations on my child.
Abiding by these principles will enhance everyone’s experience and make the last few weeks of the season, the very best they can be.