Youth sports provide a great avenue for your kids to build self-esteem and learn invaluable life lessons. Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with U.S. Snowboarding standout Arielle Gold to get her thoughts on the importance of good sportsmanship.
Youth sports provide a great avenue for your kids to build self-esteem and learn invaluable life lessons.
They also provide an opportunity for parents and coaches to teach the importance of good sportsmanship to youth athletes. Our kids look to their role models for guidance, and when adults and athletes have a win-at-all-costs mentality, it can tarnish the game and bring out the worst in everyone. Good sportsmanship matters.
“Snowboarders have some of the best sportsmanship that I have ever seen,” said Arielle. “Regardless of the fact that we are competing against each other, some of my competitors are my closest friends. And although I am not always happy with myself, I am always happy for them.”
Arielle also shared how she displays good sportsmanship out on the snow, and admitted “this is always something that I can use improvement in.” Read her full Q&A for her story.
When asked to relay a story of good sportsmanship from her snowboarding career, Arielle said there are too many examples to pick just one.
“I have seen many of my opponents congratulate each other (and me), even when the day does not go well for them,” said Arielle. “They always run up to each other with a smile on their face, and it’s not hard to tell that their feelings are genuine.”
Arielle also believes coaches can do a lot to help youth athletes develop their sportsmanship muscles. And she shared how her own coaches help her put things in proper perspective.
“The best thing that coaches can do to promote good sportsmanship is make sure that their athletes do not take competition too seriously,” said Arielle. “When you have a competitive nature like I (and many of my peers) do, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the competitive side of things. However, my coaches are pretty good about reassuring me and making me laugh, which helps to take the edge off.”
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.