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Grooming & Etiquette in sports

Professional Presence Image Consultants are the official sponsor of St George’s College 1st Team Hockey 2022.

The benefits of participation in sports at school level are vast and far reaching even into adulthood. We all know the obvious benefits of fitness - good physical and mental health, but there are other immensely important benefits of playing sport in a team that have an impact on one’s individual image, the image of the school or institution one represents and even impact the image of your country.

A spectator asked me what image consulting has to do with sports. My reply was “everything!” Have you heard the term good sportsmanship? Well, that is grooming and etiquette acted out in sports. Remember that image management is not just about dressing well and looking stylish but it is also about how we behave and how we communicate with others. These three elements (appearance, behaviour and communication) are just as important in business and social setting as they are in sporting settings.

For a sports match to be enjoyable all the stakeholders must treat each other with respect. These include: opposing teams, their coaches, the match officials, medical personnel, spectators, cheerleaders and parents (or family members). The following actions are example of good etiquette in sports:

1. Playing to win – Everyone likes to win and supporters love a winning team. Practice regularly and put in your best effort with the goal to achieve a win.

2. Be well groomed – wear your kit with pride, ensure it is clean, well fitting and odour free. This shows that you honour the team you represent and all the stakeholders you will come into contact with while in your kit.

3. Play fair – don’t employ overly-aggressive tactics that can injure another player, or cheat your way to a win. Adhere to the rules of the game.

4. Courtesy on the field – if an opposing player/opponent falls it is good to give him/her a hand to help them back up on their feet. Never celebrate the downfall or injury of your opponent.

5. Respect the match officials’ ruling – don’t argue with the referee/match officials but trust that they are doing their job.

6. Encourage your team mate(s) when they play well or even when they lose a point.

7. Listen to your coach’s instructions before, during and after the match.

8. Have fun while playing sport – it makes it enjoyable for you, your teammates and supporters and you’re more likely to continue playing sport that you enjoy.

9. War cries are part of the fun in sports – ensure that these are not vulgar or embarrassing but instead build a sense of camaraderie amongst players and supporters.

10. Accept loss gracefully – In spite of our best efforts there can only be one winner and we have to accept second best or even last position. Expressing disappointment is normal however the way you express it must not reflect a bad attitude. Exercise self-control over your emotions and know that you will live to fight another day!


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