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Setting an example: Good sportsmanship begins with parents

"One area that I do talk about is sportsmanship. I will meet with a spectator or athlete if I feel their actions are unsportsmanlike and are a negative reflection of our school. We discuss what is expected of them as a spectator or an athlete," said Scalise.

Taking turns

Gregg Dort, of Ballston Spa, has coached T-ball, youth soccer and Pop Warner football. Having been involved with sports his entire life, he said his philosophy is all kids share equal playing time and all kids play every position. He said his stance is sometimes unpopular with other coaches and some parents.

"I take great pride in showing my players that they all deserve a chance to play, regardless of opinions from other teams and coaches. I spend time during the off hours making charts and tracking players' time and positions to insure that all my players have played in every position and have shared the game time equally," said Dort.

Dort said he has had parents ask questions like, "Why did you put little Johnnie in as quarterback, we think he is too small." His answer is always, "He deserves to play, and if that child gets excited about playing this year and wants to play again next year, then I will have done my job."

"Smiles are always better than wins," said Dort.

Dort said the greatest compliment to him as a coach is when parents thank him for helping to get their child excited about being part of a team and even more so about being excited to share in something with their parents.

"I want the kids to get some exercise, experience competition, teamwork, sportsmanship, confidence, learn athletic skills, want to learn more about the sport and play at home with their parents, guardians, or siblings. I want the parents to know that it is OK for their child to laugh, cry, get pushed, score a goal, hit a home run, drop a ball, make a mistake, learn how to kick, throw, pass, catch, want to play at home, experience childhood again, support their child's effort whether good or bad," said Dort.

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