Sunday, July 22, 2012
What is gained by badmouthing opponents? Do we get better by making our opponents appear to be bad? The answers to these questions are “nothing” and “no”. Yet, some people believe this is part of sport. That being competitive means you must talk trash about the people you compete against.
I’ll admit, it’s more easy to be critical than complimentary. But, if we all enjoy receiving compliments, why aren’t we more willing to give them? Our skills don’t improve by bad-mouthing our opponents. Our skills don’t weaken when we compliment them.
If it’s unacceptable to physically hurt an opponent, then it should be unacceptable to verbally damage an opponent as well.
If we, as coaches and parents, model behavior that’s complimentary and respectful of our opponents, our children will learn to do the same. If we stop listening to those who badmouth, they will no longer have an audience for their misguided comments.
Developing friendships is one of the greatest benefits of participating in youth sports. It’s conceivable that we could double that benefit for our children by modeling a healthy attitude toward their opponents.