Good Sportsmanship: What Do People Notice About YOUR Kid During Ballgames?


In last week’s post, Why I Don’t Pay for Sports, baseball mom, Jenifer Armstrong gave a list of valuable life lessons her kids have gotten from playing sports, lessons that have nothing to do with the actual sports themselves. Lessons about hard work, earning your place on a team, how to lose gracefully, how to win with humility, how to respond when the umpire blows a call. You know, the kinds of things that will go on to define them as people long after they’ve put away their cleats.

The best way to find a team for your player…and players for your team!

While watching our kids on the ball field, I get as excited as any parent over a flawless play, a clutch hit or a stellar pitching performance. But what stands out more than anything to me is the good (and sometimes bad) sportsmanship that players exhibit. These small, often overlooked gestures can tell us more about a kid than his or her batting average, on-base percentage and ERA combined.

Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of excuses from parents dismissing their kids’ bad behavior during games.

Player throws his helmet to the ground after the third strike.
MOM: “TERRIBLE!!! That umpire has no business behind the plate!”
The rest of us are thinking, “That may be true, but your kid’s acting like a punk…and you’re allowing it.”

I could give plenty more examples like this. We all could! But, instead, I’d rather focus on good sportsmanship, those positive gestures that make us smile and say “what a great kid!”

You guys have shared so many with us on our Facebook page. No doubt as you scroll through these, you’ll be nodding, saying to yourself, “now that’s cool! What great kids!”…(and parents and coaches too). If you don’t see a photo that you’ve submitted in this post, keep checking back. We’ll be doing more in this series.

I had my own “proud mom” moment recently with my 14 year old son. After a tough game, all the players were leaving the dugout with their gear, heading toward their waiting families.(Seating at this field wasn’t near the dugout, which wasn’t accessible to families.) After several minutes, Andrew still hadn’t appeared. Finally, as I was about to go find him, he came walking out, carrying a bucket of balls in one hand, bag of catcher’s gear in the other and his own gear on his back.
ME: “Good for you, Andrew! Did your coach ask you to help?”
HIM: “Nah, I just noticed that he needed a hand.”Yeah, I know that’s a little thing, but it made me proud. And Andrew liked the feeling of being appreciated by the coach…so much so, that he waits in the dugout every game now to carry equipment back to the coach’s truck.


crystal conway benbrook
This is was from a tournament we played in. A sister team built a tunnel to congratulate us on a tuff win! Was a great show of sportsmanship!!!–Crystal Connaway Benbrook
ump checking
The ump and other team’s catcher checking on my little after he got hit with a pitch. —Kristina Guidroz
batter shoe tie
Batter couldn’t tie his shoe due to his batting gloves.. Catcher tied it for him. Very cool.–Dave Eastman
Always a show of class for a player to shake the umpire’s hand after a game. Photo sent in by Sarah Fears Vencil
This team from Mexico drove 17 hours to play a tournament in Las Vegas and didn’t win a single game. My son gave his catcher counterpart on their team a Giants jersey. They were so happy, they insisted on a photo together. Great display of sportsmanship! —Cindy Costa
It never matters if friends are on opposing teams. Friends made through baseball withstand everything. —Angie McLeod
jessica trojanowski
This picture shows one of our coaches showing my son to go over and shake the other teams hands.–Jessica Trojanowsky Refermat
2 teams gathered to have opening prayer lead by a 12 year pitcher for a friend who is battling leukemia. #raisinkaneupinprayer–Stacy Likins Hensley
A member of the other team high fiving one of our boys who hit a home run.–Karen Speer Wagoner
Helping tarp the mound in the pouring rain. The other team was keeping dry in the dugout.–Brooke Hanszen Paddie
Friends are friends, no matter what teams they’re on.–April Jolley Jenkins
Champion ship game and we fell short. Good game and coaching here in Wichita Falls, Texas. John Govea–Terri Belcher Carroll
A local athlete named Emmett (who is our kids age) has cancer. Our boys played for him!–Kari Hicks
Great friends, regardless of trophy size. Sent in by Jenny Woodbury Arnold
hit batter
My son was pitching and hit the batter. He shook his hand and apologized.–Amy Owen Dean
kid in blue
Kid in blue was pitcher who threw out kid being carried. Ball hit off his ankle so pitcher made sure he was ok as coach carried him off the field. Class Act! – Janelle Prater-Burnett
The pitcher, in light blue, was the only pitcher all weekend for her team. After being eliminated she cried from being emotionally and physically exhausted. My daughter is the one hugging her for comfort.–Renee Hubener Hughes
This is the 1st and 2nd place winners of a tournament we played for a little boy who has cancer. Both teams gave their trophies to him.–Rachel Ward
another friends
It never matters if friends are on opposing teams. Friends made through baseball withstand everything. —Jessica Angel Henson
kids bowing
South Korean team at the LLWS…they appreciate the fans so much they bow after the games. It was a privilege watching them play in 2014.–Nicole Charette McMahon
My son on the left walking back to the car giving his teammate a pep talk. We lost by one point and the boy took it hard because he felt it was his fault that they lost. This is actually why I took the pic from my car. I had a feeling what the conversation was about.–Melissa Beyer Maouad

Keep sharing those great sportsmanship moments with us! We love celebrating these just as much as the home runs, strike outs and great plays at the plate. We’ll also be doing a post on great sportsmanship in coaches. Share your proud coaching stories about the guys and gals who’ve made a positive difference in your kids’ lives.

Now, I’m going to hit “publish” and go play some ball with my kid.


Angela Weight

Founder and publisher of Travel Ball, Angela Weight is still a little shocked to be running one of the most popular youth sports parenting sites on the web. Click the ABOUT US tab to read her story.

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