As parents we are always teaching our children about good sportsmanship. For example, I loved that my fifth grade son’s football coach told the kids to be known as the team to hit hard, but then help them up. To me this means they are playing the game well, and still being gentleman. The ladies who I played tennis against yesterday need to examine their sportsmanship.
It was a competitive doubles match in a local league. My opponents at first seemed nice enough, but then one slammed the ball at the net and hit my partner. What bothered me most is they then high fived one another and said “yes.” It took my partner minutes to recover before they finally asked her if she was okay. Later they hive fived at some of our mistakes and then said “yes” in victory and a fist pump after they beat us.
I am probably extreme on how I think people should act and react during sporting events, but here are some basic rules that people should remember. If you hit someone and mean to (as in football or at the net in tennis) no need to deny your intention. Instead quickly ask the person if he/she is okay, and help them get up and oriented again. When an opponent makes a mistake and you are elated, turn your back to him if you are going to show joy. It is rude to verbally or physically celebrate other’s mistakes. Lastly, when you do win, excitement is understandable, but do your happy dance in your head or when the other team is out of sight. A smile and handshake are appropriate after the win, and a celebration can wait until later.