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Editorial: Practice good sportsmanship on and off field

As fall sports are gearing up, we’re reminded of how important it is for parents and community members to set good examples for our high school athletes on and off the field.

Though it may be easy to get mad and yell at referees and players on opposing teams when something happens you don’t agree with, everyone should remember to be respectful.

The Minnesota State High School League offers the following tips for creating a healthy sports environment:

• Parents should be supportive and positive of a coach’s decisions, and if they have a problem with what the coach is doing, it is best to talk directly with the coach after the game or at another time.

• Teach your child respect for authority. Though there will be times you disagree with a coach or official, remember they are trying their best to be fair.

• Let the coach do the coaching, but remember parents or other mentors can do some of the teaching. Sports are the perfect opportunity to teach life skills of success and failure.

We encourage parents and community members to practice these tips throughout the fall sports season. The guidelines can apply to any sport.

On the same token, we encourage residents to be supportive of all of the area athletes, regardless of abilities and whether they are leaders of their conference or are struggling.

High school is a great time to learn important life lessons. Many of the skills and attitudes they learn on the court or field they’ll take with them to other areas of their lives.