Sportsmanship Values and Why We Teach Them

It's more than a game.

At i9 Sports® we believe youth sports should be about more than skills and scores. While teaching kids to play the sport is important, we also develop player character by teaching sportsmanship values and celebrating players who demonstrate good sportsmanship. Not only do we want to help kids become better athletes, we want to help them become better people too. We believe it’s The Way Youth Sports Should Be.®

The Importance of teaching kids good sportsmanshiP

Playing a sport isn’t just important for a child’s physical development. When kids participate in sports, they learn valuable life lessons that are remembered long after the final whistle blows. Each week, we integrate one of our nine sportsmanship values into practice and game play across all age groups. When a coach teaches kids about respect or teamwork, those lessons positively impact their attitude in the classroom and at home. When we teach about enthusiasm or integrity, kids learn that encouraging others and doing the right thing is just as important as scoring a goal or winning the game. Teaching kids sportsmanship values is a key component of the i9 Sports Experience. 


Kids learn that to demonstrate respect means showing consideration or appreciation for someone else while valuing their input, effort, talent, and point-of-view.
We teach that showing positivity means that you do not let thoughts like "I can't, I don't, or I hate to" get in the way of doing your best. You should always try your hardest and encourage your teammates.
Teamwork means working together and doing what is best for the team and not just what is good for you. Being a team player means being a good sport, cooperating with your coach and cheering on your teammates.
To demonstrate humility is to take success in stride – share the credit with teammates and to not brag over a score, a goal, or a victory.
Showing enthusiasm means showing excitement for what you are doing – being willing to learn and practice new skills, cheering on your teammates and hustling on and off the field – all with high energy and a big smile.
To show determination means to be focused and give your best effort to achieve something. When you are determined, you do not give up, but instead you savor the challenge of a tough competitor and meet it with your best effort, win or lose.
We teach kids the importance of showing integrity in everything they do. To have integrity means to say what you mean and do what you say. It means you can be counted on to be at practice and games because your teammates are depending on you. It means doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
Inclusion means to ensure everyone is treated equally and fairly. It means giving everyone a chance to play regardless of differences.
To show leadership, you must possess and demonstrate all the other sportsmanship values in addition to being supportive while helping others reach their goals. A leader is someone who sets a good example for others to follow.
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We're proud of our sportsmanship medal winners!

When a player best demonstrates the weekly sportsmanship value, we celebrate it!  The player receives an i9 Sports Excellence in Sportsmanship medal, plus lots of cheers from players, coaches, parents and staff. It’s a big deal and it’s our favorite part of game day!  To see what we mean, take a look at these snapshots and smiling faces from across the country.  Have a great photo to share with us? Email your favorite sportsmanship winner photos to

We also take sidelines seriously. Check out our Parental Pledge.