MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 26
"It must be rough, getting so close to winning and then blowing it at the last second!" Kevin says, rubbing in our team's latest defeat.
Nicole looks crushed. She had a great game and made lots of saves, but can only remember the one shot that made it past her. "We came so close," she says, "But, of course, we lost. Again!"
"Nicole, don't be so upset," Kevin taunts, "Aren't you used to losing by now?"
"I hate that kid!" Nicole blurts out, glaring over at Kevin.
"He's not worth it," Coach Stu says, "Don't let his poor sportsmanship get to you. His team may have won the game, but you can walk away feeling proud of yourself. 'It's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game.' After the season is over, people will forget who beat whom, but everyone will remember that you acted with dignity. It's a good feeling to win, but it's even better to know that you did your best and didn't let competition turn you into a person you don't want to be. Being the kind of person you want to be-a person of character-is the most important victory of all. Remember, 'It's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game.'"
This week's maxim is "It's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game."
- "It's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game."
- Honor - I know that true strength means living out your values and acting on your beliefs.
- Humility - I recognize my gifts and realize that I have a responsibility to use them; I am aware of my faults and work to improve myself.
- Respect - I acknowledge the innate dignity of each person and my actions reflect my beliefs.
- Character - Even when it is difficult, I do what is right.
- Leadership - I am able to take charge and be a good example.
- Self-discipline - I am in control of myself; I know that I will sometimes have to sacrifice in the present in order to be true to my goals.
- Decency - I act in a way that is consistent with the values of my community and its ideals.
Homeroom Discussion Information
- If Kevin's coach hears the way he is speaking to Nicole, should the coach confront him? What should he say?
- Do you agree with what Coach Stu tells Nicole?
- Competition can be healthy and helpful. What is good about competing?
- Is it possible to be too competitive? What behaviors do you think of when you hear someone is "too competitive?" What's dangerous about becoming overly competitive?
- What does it mean to be a "good sport?"
- Why is it important to be a good sport?
- Is good sportsmanship really only important in athletics? How might it apply to other areas of your life?
- A lot of people say that playing sports helps build character. What are some character lessons you can learn from being part of a team?
- Tell the story of an important lesson you learned from playing sports. What happened and what did you learn from that experience?
- Do you agree with this week's maxim? What other situations does it apply to?
Five tips for maxim-izing your family time
- Be a good role model. At their sporting events, act with the same dignity and respect you want your children to exhibit. Have the courage to ask you children if you do this already. Be willing to talk candidly about their answers.
- When you watch sports on TV, uphold the values you work so hard to nurture. Think about the language you use and the way you talk about opposing teams/players. Your kids admire you and value your opinion. They learn what you live.
- Discuss famous athletes. Which are good role models? Which aren't? Why? Be prepared to address the fact that many "successful" people (in terms of being rich and famous, winning many competitions, etc.) do not always demonstrate good character. Remind your children that success isn't about bank accounts or magazine covers-it's about being an honorable person.
- Exemplify patience. When you make mistakes or do not achieve an intended goal, show your child what it means to have humility, a good sense of humor, and a persistent spirit. Show your child the benefit of learning and growing from your mistakes.
- Celebrate their successes and their efforts. Let your children know that you value the process, not just the numbers on the scoreboard. Help your children to see that winning is about accomplishing goals, not beating someone else.
- Do you enjoy playing sports? Why or why not?
- Does competition make playing more or less fun? Explain.
- How important are athletics at your school? In your life?
- Do you think there is a lot of pressure to be good at sports? Explain.
- How would you react if you had been in Nicole's place? What should you do when someone is being a bad sport?
- Do you think that people who have attitudes like Kevin's end up being successful? What does it mean to be a successful athlete?
- What does it mean to be a successful person?
- How important is good character in being a success?
Be sure to acknowledge the courage your children show in talking with you about these issues.
- Sportsmanship: Building Character or "Characters?"
- Athletes for a Better World
- Institute for International Sport: National Sportsmanship Day
- FamilyEducation.com: Teaching Good Sportsmanship
- CBS News.com: Good Sports, Bad Sports
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