TAKE 5 with U.S. Snowboarding's Arielle Gold Part II


Youth Sports Article TAKE 5 on Good Sportsmanship

US Snowboarding Arielle Gold Part II interview on good sportsmanship

There’s nothing like the elated feeling your children get after winning a game they’ve practiced for day and night. But that good feeling can quickly dissipate when faced with bad sportsmanship.

Youth sports are a great opportunity for kids to build self-esteem and learn the essentials of playing a game. But it’s also an opportunity for parents and coaches to teach the importance of good sportsmanship. While parents cheer for their kids on the sidelines, it’s also imperative for them to be positive role models and strong examples of what it means to be a good sport.

Our kids look to their role models, and when adults and athletes have a win-at-all-cost mentality, it can ruin the game and bring out the worst in everyone.

In this month’s TAKE 5 series, we sat down with some of the world’s top athletes and coaches to get their take on what good sportsmanship means to them.

Arielle Gold

Arielle is a competitive women's half pipe snowboarder who has been snowboarding since she was seven years old. In 2013 she earned a bronze medal at her first X Games and continues to find herself on the podium.

1. What's the state of sportsmanship in snowboarding today?

Snowboarders have some of the best sportsmanship that I have ever seen. I think that this is because of how close all of us are to each other. Regardless of the fact that we are competing against each other, some of my competitors are my closest friends, and although I am not always happy with myself, I am always happy for them.

2. What specifically do you do to display good sportsmanship?

In order to display good sportsmanship, I try to congratulate my peers whenever they do well, despite how well I did. However, this is always something that I can use improvement in.

3. During your snowboarding career, what's one example of an opponent displaying good sportsmanship?

I have seen many of my opponents congratulate each other (and me) even when the day does not go well for them. They always run up to each other with a smile on their face, and it is not hard to tell that their feelings are genuine.

4. What can coaches do to promote good sportsmanship?

I would say that the best thing that coaches can do to promote good sportsmanship is make sure that their athletes do not take competition too seriously. I am one who is often guilty of this, because when you have a competitive nature like I (and many of my peers) do, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the competitive side of things. However, my coaches are pretty good about reassuring me and making me laugh, which helps to take the edge off.

5. What is the number one thing athletes in snowboarding could do to improve sportsmanship in our sport?

I haven’t really seen a whole lot of things that need improvement as far as sportsmanship in snowboarding goes. More so than my peers, I think that I could always use to work on being a better sport. There are definitely times where I get frustrated with myself after a contest, and don’t give my competitors the congratulations that they deserve . . . Once I settle down, I always end up wishing that I had.

Come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 Interview.

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