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Playing sports can be grueling, from the amount of work you put in to the adrenaline that fuels you throughout the game. When you’re in the moment, it can be easy to go to a place of rage and intensity, leading to fights with the opposing players, or even your own teammates. But, it’s important to remember good sportsmanship.

I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. But having good sportsmanship on and off the field, in the heat of the moment and while on the bench, in every circumstance and with everyone is a true test of character and self control. Here are some tips to discuss with your athlete on how to remain calm in even the most chaotic moments of the season.

Whether it’s striving for first string and battling it out with a teammate or going up against your school’s biggest rival, having good sportsmanship is essential. Not only for your own good conscious, but also for scouts and recruiters watching you play. An athlete with a bad temper is never appealing to colleges and professional teams. Keep your self-control by following these tips and tricks.

Self Talk

The way you talk to yourself is evident in how you speak to others. When you are upset, feel defeated, or emotional, how to do you talk to yourself? Are you the first person to beat yourself up? Do you have negative self talk? This will affect how you speak to others. When you’re upset with someone else or when you are frustrated during a game, are you the person who cuts down your teammate?

Make changes by changing your own self talk. Remind yourself to stay calm, go over at least three positive characteristics you possess. And, when the negative thoughts start to creep in, tell yourself no. Immediately stop the negativity and go to a positive place in your mind.

Self Control

It’s easy to get into the game and let emotions and raw physical reactions to take the lead, but start practicing self control--on and off the field. When you are at home and you get frustrated, take a deep breath and calm down before opening your mouth or reacting. The more practice you have in taming your tongue and not just reacting without thinking, the better you’ll be at this during games and intense sports moments.

Sports are intense. It’s part of the appeal of the game. The adrenaline drives you on and enhances your performance. But, if you develop negative character and rage instead of channeling all of your emotions into positive performance, you lose the ability to be a good teammate.

Good sportsmanship is more than shaking hands after a game. It’s about how you behave on and off the field. Make sure that you have self control and positive self talk to help you be a better player, a better teammate, and a better you.