CJFC is a competitive youth soccer club committed to offering central New Jersey players an organized and professional association that encourages player and character development, teamwork, sportsmanship, social responsibility and a love and appreciation
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Good and Bad Sportsmanship
How to Become a Character

Whether you posses good and bad sportsmanship, it shows in your attitude to winning and losing. No doubts, everyone likes to win, but at the same time someone has to lose.

How do you face losses? How do you want to face losses?

bad sportsmanship

Sportsmanship will show how mature you are as a person and a soccer player.

If you learn how to deal with your emotions early, it will save you from bad sportsmanship behavior later, when you become an advanced soccer player.

Being mature emotionally doesn't mean you have to be like a rock in every situation. Opposite is true, it's absolutely natural to feel frustrated, upset, disappointed, and even angry. These feelings will help recognize that you want to feel different and have different results. They help you grow.

But how you react, while feeling all these emotional storms, will define if you are a good or bad sport. Learning to lose without losing your cool is a skill that can be developed. You might not be able to do it at first, but over time it will get easier.

Soccer players and athletes in general make a mistake when emphasize their goal as the only outcome. A winning may be your goal, or become a pro soccer player may be your goal, but if you focus on the only this you may have a difficult time later when it won't happen. It's helpful to have a backup plan, even more than one. What you would do if, for example, you will get an injury, or sit on the bench the whole game, or lose, or...? Mentally you have to be ready for any outcome.

Losing or not getting what you want is not the end of the world. Actually by losing you learn more. There are more advantages in losing than in wining:

  • You need to lose (maybe not once), in order to know why you want to win
  • You learn about yourself (feelings, strengths, weaknesses) more when you lose
  • People see who you are after a tough loss
  • Losing helps keep you on track (always winning makes you lose the sense of your strengths and what else you need to improve)

15 Ways of Good and Bad Sportsmanship


  • Learn to appreciate losses, and you can face it gracefully.


  • Learn to accept a criticism. Take it as an opportunity to get useful information what you need to work on to become better. If criticism comes from a person you respect, no need to be upset. That person sure has a good intention to help you be more skilled.
  • If criticism comes from someone who you think is not right, don't try to whiten yourself. You are good enough without the need to prove that you are good. Be proud of what you have, and what you can. By trying to prove yourself, or getting upset with unfair critics, you make yourself small - this is a bad sportsmanship.


    "Profanity is a small mind struggling to express itself"
    Harry Sheehy

    There would be situations on the field and off the field when someone try to knock you down throwing something offensive at you - insult or a mean-spirited joke - in attempts to get a foolish reaction from you. Ignore! Laugh it out! And be always polite yourself to everyone you're playing with and against. Trash talks don't give you values. Being angry at and arguing with opponents, referees, and teammates is a bad sportsmanship.
  • If you get rejected, you may feel upset and think you were not treated fair. Know that next time you will have an opportunity to show everyone they were not right. Work harder to improve yourself, your skills, that nobody has doubts in your abilities to play good soccer.


  • Respect other team. If they win respect them for an opportunity to show where to go next. If they lost, respect them for an opportunity to win.


  • Learn to cope with your emotions. Don't blow temper tantrum, keep your head calm in the game.

    Tips for coaches: if a player loses his temper, make him sit down, no play. This rule should not have exemptions, no matter how good the player is, no matter how it jeopardizes the game (you may even lose), but that has to be strict.


  • Be always there for your teammates, even if you are not playing. Even if you sit the whole season on the bench, be proud of being a part of the team. Cheer for your teammates, be an inspiration for them and a good example of a good sportsmanship.
  • Learn the rules of soccer and play fair. Show your justice, whether it is your team's fault, or opposites, play fair always.
  • Be always on time to practices and games. Two minutes or thirty minutes - is late and a bad sportsmanship and disrespect.
  • Don't make excuses for your bad play. Take responsibility for yourself and don't blame referee or teammates for loss. Try to learn from what happened.
  • Do what you say, stick to the rules. If you feel you cannot achieve something, don't promise. But if you said something, follow it.
  • Don't pretend to know something that you don't know. If you don't know something, learn from others and don't be afraid to ask questions and praise others.
  • Don't show off and boast. If you are good at something, you don't need to tell anybody, people will notice themselves. If you have to tell them, it means they have not arrived at this conclusion on their own (simply means you are not that good yet). If you score don't present it as a miracle, but something that you do every day. This is a contribution to your team, rather than to your own glory.
  • You coach is the boss. Arguing with him is a bad sportsmanship. You may be right 100 %, but don't argue. If you feel you have something to discuss with your coach, do it privately, talk to him when nobody is listening to. Don't bad mouth about your coach.

Your Relationships with Adults

When dealing with parents and your coach you should understand that they make mistakes too as you do too. There may be two situations you face:

Adults can be wrong too - parents shouting at you on the sidelines, coach calling you names - Ouch! You have two choices:

  • Get upset (and you are right)
  • Ignore it, because you know it is not true. You can work harder so that they will know they are not right. Or if they still don't know, they are hopelessly bad adults, and this is not your fault.
Adults can be right, but you don't understand their points. You have two choices too:


  • Get upset and get into thinking that they don't like you (and you are right)
  • Ignore and work harder and make them change their opinion about you.

What would you choose?

I wish you be a good sport and not to dwell into a bad sportsmanship. If you don't have supporting parents, then becoming a good character is in your own hands.

If you have understanding and supporting parents, you have to help them too, make them be proud of you.