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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 33

Good Sportsmanship

Coaches, teachers, and parents serve as role models for sportsmanlike behaviors in children. This story from the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports examines research on the topic of developing sportsmanship.

This article is reprinted with permission from Spotlight on Youth Sports, a publication of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS). The Institute at Michigan State University was founded by the Michigan Legislature in 1978 to research the benefits and detriments of participation in youth sports; to produce educational materials for parents, coaches, officials, and administrators; and to provide educational programs for coaches, officials, administrators, and parents.

[Some situations to consider:]

A young basketball player takes a cheap shot at her opponent and does not get caught by the referee. After the game, she gloats about the action and her teammates congratulate her on the move.

After placing second in the finals of the 100-meter freestyle, a disappointed swimmer walks away from an opponent's handshake and throws his goggles on the deck.

The actions of those individuals may not make the headlines of your local paper or gain as much press as delinquent athletes. Yet, those behaviors are unsportsmanlike. Sportsmanship involves a striving for success, while maintaining a commitment to being fair, honest, and respectful [and] to following the rules -- all of which is synonymous with being ethical or moral.

The behaviors illustrated in the opening scenarios are clearly outside the lines of sportsmanship. The question that arises is, where did those athletes learn unsportsmanlike behaviors? And the more pressing question for sports leaders, what is the role of sport in nurturing sportsmanlike or unsportsmanlike behavior? It is contended that the choices made by an athlete to engage in sportsmanlike conduct depend, in part, on how the sport is structured by administrators, coaches, parents, and fans.

Read the full article on Education World.


Learning About Body Systems

Granite State FitKids is a seven-week interactive health awareness program for fourth graders in New Hampshire. At the core of the program are seven lessons called "The Body Workshops," which discuss the body systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, muscular, skeletal, and nervous.

In addition, three of the lessons focus on the effects of tobacco and the benefits of good nutrition and regular physical activity. These lessons are approximately 45-to-60 minutes each and complement existing health education curriculum. Dr. Charles T. Cappetta, pediatrician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, presents the seven lessons, with the assistance of Mr. Bones, and various health-care professionals, such as a nutritionist and a health educator.

Adjunct school staff members such as the physical education, art, computer, and music teachers also are involved in providing corresponding supportive information and activities in their own classrooms during the program.

Kids keep a seven-week-long daily calendar of what they like to do, with whom they do it, and for how long. This information is available for all schools to allow comparisons between classes, schools, and communities.

Also, a 49-question health survey is conducted in classrooms before the program starts to assess students knowledge of health, nutrition, physical activity, family health, and smoking issues. This information is available for review by school personnel.

Read more about this program at: Granite State FitKids.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
Kids With Healthful Diets Do Better in School A new study by Canadian researchers published in the Journal of School Health reveals that children with healthful diets perform better in school than children with unhealthful diets.

Schools Spend Thousands on Fast Food While Texas is trying to eliminate junk food from its school cafeterias, busloads of student athletes and pupils on field trips often stop at fast-food restaurants.

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