Great rivalries are something to cherish and enjoy. A rivalry to be proud of involves three elements:

  • Intense competition in games, meets or matches.
  • Enjoyment of the opportunity to participate in the rivalry.
  • Behavior by athletes, coaches, and fans that supports a positive sports environment.

A Positive Sports Environment that will enhance a rivalry includes:

  • Living up to your own standards as the best version of yourself.
  • Treating those involved with dignity:
    • Opponents – recognizing that a worthy opponent brings out our best.
    • Officials – acknowledging the difficulty of officiating and behaving respectfully even when there is a disagreement or missed call.
    • Teammates – supporting and encouraging teammates.
  • Acknowledging and playing within the rules of competition.

How to Create a Rivalry to be Proud of:

  • Cheer for your team, not against the opposition.
  • Model treating opponents, officials, and teammates with dignity so others will follow along.
  • When others are not behaving respectfully, remind them to help create a positive sport experience for all involved.
  • Refrain from gloating if your team wins. Just enjoy it!