Lessons underscore our kids’ games

Dale Fullerton

The lessons for our students don’t end with the final bell of the day if they’re involved in co-curricular activities.

In fact, the learning experiences that come from participation in drama, music, speech, athletics and the like promote lifetime values that cannot always be learned in the classroom.

Responsibility, respect, fairness, caring, trustworthiness and citizenship are lifetime values taught through athletics, and these are the principles of good sportsmanship.

With them, the spirit of competition thrives, fueled by honest rivalry, courteous relations and graceful acceptance of the results.

Parents’ and fans’ support of athletics is essential as part of our educational mission.

We need parents and fans to help us in these ways:
n Realize that athletics are part of the educational experience and the benefits of involvement go beyond the final score of the game.

Encourage our students to do their best, just as we would urge them on with their classwork.

Learn, understand and respect the rules of the game, the officials who administer them and their decisions.

Respect the task our coaches face as teachers and support them as they arrive to educate our youth.

Respect our opponents as students and acknowledge them for striving to do their best; treat them with courtesy.

Develop a sense of dignity under all circumstances.

When at athletic events, urge our teams on with positive cheers. Discourage cheers that would redirect that focus, including those that taunt and intimidate opponents, their fans and officials; and discourage those who engage in such unsportsmanlike behavior.

Fans can be a part of a message sent through our community that interscholastic athletics potentially have lifetime learning experience impact.

Unlike sports events we see on television at the collegiate and professional level where entertainment is the mission and education is not a primary objective, our goal is to have positive lifelong effect.

This message must be communicated if we are to continue to have success in this area.

Dale Fullerton is athletic director for Clovis Municipal Schools. Contact him at 769-4350, ext. 1024.