A mother of two boys, with my eldest coming into the age he is interested in playing sport, although hasn't yet decided which sport he would like to do. He's trialling athletics and basketball at the moment in which I'm happy for him to choose based on his enjoyment factor.
A number of my friends have also children of the same age and have been venturing out into sport and getting to the age where fun competition starts becoming apparent.
Recently some friend's of mine entered their children into sport, and at the age of 8 their son's were excited to start playing real games, versus some training drills and a bit of fun. It was their very first game which left a foul taste in the parents mouth but I was able to relate to them, having coached juniors/teenagers in hockey for a few years.
Alot of us, as parents have that competitive nature, love to see our kids win, want our kids to do our best but do you actually realise the negative affect its having on your child when they don't learn to be gracious in defeat. They aren't losers, they learn from it and its a completely normal experience for them as in life when they grow up there will be adversities, challenges and obstacles they have to face and should they never have been defeated and had to rise above it, shake hands, smile at their competitiros they will never know how strong they have to be in every day life. Resilience is a key strength I believe is failing most children of today.
Children also look up to us as parents, for encouragement, mentorship, leadership, advice and much more in life......but remember how you act around them they are also absorbing. Yelling at your child on the sportsfield, telling them the opposition is Scum, losers, you are better than them is not cool. We wonder why our children have a lack of respect, anger management issues, however they are following in their parents footsteps and behaviours.
Have you ever thought how ugly it looks on the sidelines to watch parents with "white line fever" screaming at their children, how your child must feel when you are screaming abuse at them, how shattering it is to their confidence when you are telling them "thats not good enough" "they are scum".
Just think about how your child would respond and how happy they would be if you could positively support them, reinforce how good they are doing, tell all the kids on both teams they did a great job. Just think of the smile it would bring to their face. Think of all the positive life lessons they learn when they don't win, like how to refocus for next time, what it takes to work as a team and win, things they can improve on for next time and lots lots more.
So in short, take a look at yourself as a parent and how you conduct yourself on the sidelines and be sure that you act and talk in a way that your children will be proud and happy to admit you are their parents, as opposued being embarrased for your disgusting behaviour.
Children follow in our footsteps, lets love them the right way, encourage them the right way, support them the right way so they can be proud of you the right way!