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Another way to encourage sportsmanship

CoachUp.com offers tips to help your kids get

CoachUp.com offers tips to help your kids get through sports tryouts. Credit: iStock

It reminded me of a scene from 1976's “The Bad News Bears,” only not.

It was a soccer game, not baseball, and none of the coaches were drunk. But England, the so-called winning team at my friend's son's match did something I hadn't yet seen as the mother of an 8-year-old boy who has played baseball, flag football and basketball (as well as soccer).

After the customary handshake on the Chappaqua, N.Y., field, England's team members huddled to the side and did a cheer — for Spain, the other team! (Losing Spain had cheered England first.)

In “The Bad News Bears,” the members of the champion Yankees team chanted, "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? Bears .?.?. Bears .?.?. Bears” as they did to all the teams they beat, but only after bullying and berating their scrappy opponents.

In my friend's son's game, the boys seemed happy to cheer on the boys who beat them. In this era of bad sportsmanship in youth sports, where parents and coaches can behave as badly as kids who don't know better, that's some good news.

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