Sportsmanship is more than just being nice to others. There are a few main qualities that contribute to sportsmanlike behavior:
If you’re losing, it’s best not to take your disappointment out on your teammates. Being a team player is essential during team sports, where support can mean everything.
In a game, players are doing their best, and everyone wants to win.
People are more productive and efficient with positive reinforcement, and a few words of encouragement or high-fives can sometimes be all someone needs to get their head back into the game.
Have a positive attitude
Having a negative attitude about the game can bring down the whole team, making competition less fun for everyone.
Childish or inappropriate behavior can dampen the spirit of the game and make players seem immature.
Positivity is an important trait, especially when playing team sports.
Whether you win or lose, it’s essential to show respect to others.
Avoid being passive-aggressive or insulting your peers over their gameplay. Even if you suspect someone of cheating, (which may not necessarily be the case), hurling harsh words at your opponents or teammates can damage your reputation, and the respect others have for you.
Whining about calls or arguing with umpires also demonstrates unsportsmanlike conduct.
Some people, however, consider trash talk part of the game and have a higher tolerance for it than others—but a general rule of thumb is that as long as it doesn’t cross into personal boundaries, trash talk can be a fun way to amp up the spirit of the game.
Be willing to learn
If you end up losing, rather than take it out on the opposition, try to learn from your mistakes.
For instance, if you make a lot of forced errors during a tennis match, practice returning the balls that made you struggle the most.
If you hit a lot of your backhands into the net instead of down the line winners, work on that technique to increase your chances of future success.
Games can get emotional, but players should always make a conscious effort to control their emotions and focus on the game.
Damaging sporting equipment or playing surfaces is a surefire way to be a bad sport, and can also embarrass your teammates.