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IMGCA Article - Sportsmanship


The International Mental Game Coaching Association is a leader in the mental game of sport education for coaches, athletes and parents. IMGCA strongly believes that sport should be a living laboratory for learning about sportsmanship and for developing character. IMGCA has three sportsmanship pledges you can use: The Athlete Sportsmanship Pledge, the Parent Sportsmanship Pledge and the Coach Sportsmanship Pledge.

IMGCA has developed this coach sportsmanship pledge designed to foster self-development and to encourage healthy and ethical behavior throughout the sport experience.

At the bottom of this pledge you will find places for a signature and a date. IMGCA encourages readers to commit to this pledge. This pledge can be undertaken for one person, an entire team, a league or for any organization.

This article is free to reprint and to post without asking us in advance. Feel free to put this in your newsletters, ezines, on walls, in locker rooms, in training areas, in classrooms, in hallways, etc. For full details about reprints:

IMGCA would like to hear from you if you have suggestions for ways to improve this pledge. Here now is the International Mental Game Coaching Association Coach Pledge:

The International Mental Game Coaching Association
Coach Sportsmanship Pledge

Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and President
The International Mental Game Coaching Association

I view sports as a worthwhile endeavor in and of itself, and also as a vehicle for learning valuable life lessons. I know that sports both display character and build character.


  1. I commit to making my main focus the overall well-being and development of my athletes, both on and off the field.

  2. I commit to demonstrating decorum, civility, sportsmanship, respect, courtesy, fair play, integrity and ethical, responsible behavior at all times.

  3. I commit to treating all persons with respect, regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.

  4. I commit to being a person who exemplifies and promotes loyalty, accountability, trustworthiness and good citizenship.

  5. I commit to displaying excellent emotional and mental self-control at all times.

  6. I commit to winning and losing with dignity and respect for everyone.

  7. I commit to maintaining dignity in the face of adversity.

  8. I commit to treating others the way I wish to be treated, using the "Golden Rule".

  9. I commit to being an excellent, respectful communicator, relating to others with sensitivity, kindness and fairness at all times.

  10. I commit to being transparent, clear and specific about expectations I and my staff have regarding sportsmanship, rules, policies and procedures.

  11. I commit to seeking ongoing training and knowledge about coaching and training with regard to the overall development of children, teens and young adults, in the physical, mental and emotional spheres.

  12. I commit to teaching and enforcing good sportsmanship and character in all my players.

  13. I commit to being an excellent role model in sportsmanship for all my athletes, staff and everyone else.

  14. I commit to understanding that I am an ambassador for my players' team, school, club, program or association.

  15. I commit to supporting the removal of negative and abusive coaches from my sport.

  16. I commit to being on watch for behavior from others that does not promote well-being, such as negativity, belittling, hazing, bullying and physical, mental or emotional abuse. When I encounter this behavior, I will take appropriate steps to bring it under control.

  17. I commit to supporting a sports environment that is free of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

  18. I commit to respecting and supporting officials, administrators, staff and coaches, and will never do or say anything that would embarrass them.

  19. I commit to showing respect and concern for an injured player, regardless of the team they are on.

  20. I commit to showing gratitude to officials, administrators, staff and coaches.

  21. I commit to teaching my players and staff good values that uphold the best virtues of sportsmanship, character and life lessons.

  22. I commit to supporting and respecting my players and staff, win or lose.

  23. I commit to helping my players and staff see the value of sports lessons as preparation for life itself.

  24. I commit to helping my players and staff see valuable sport and life lessons even when they lose or play poorly.

  25. I commit to refraining from behaving in a distractingly emotional, negative or nervous manner from the sidelines where my players or others can view this during a competition.

  26. I commit to involving parents in helping to instill sportsmanship and good character in their children.

  27. I commit to acknowledging and applauding good plays by the opposing team as well as my own.

  28. I commit to teaching my players and staff the rules, traditions, history, ethics and context of their sport so they can thrive.



This article is free to reprint and, or to post without asking us. Put these in your newsletters, ezines, walls, locker rooms, training areas, classrooms, hallways, etc. For full details about reprints:

Copyright Bill Cole, MS, MA 2011-2020. All rights reserved.

Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association, Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is a Wall Of Fame Honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at or

Article Source: IMGCA

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