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Sportsmanship Starts With Parents

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/sportsmanship_starts_with_parents_20050902

Years ago, when my son was beginning his foray into competitive tennis, I entered him in a local, somewhat low-key tournament intended to introduce new players to tennis competition. I thought it would be fun. But as I watched my son's match, the activity one court over distracted me. A father was screaming at his son from the sideline, for making an error. The boy grew frustrated and angry; their interchange was embarrassing. An official informed the father that he'd be removed if he could not keep quiet. A short while later, when the boy lost, he threw his racquet and burst into tears. He could barely bring himself to shake his opponent's hand. Surprised? Not really. While there are multiple reasons some kids end up being bad sports, parents usually receive the most blame -- something we moms and dads ought to consider as another sports season is set to kick off.

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