Sportsmanship Pin Initiative Creates Positivity in USTA Florida Junior Tennis
Oct 31, 2023
In the world of junior tennis, winning matches and earning trophies are some of the most coveted outcomes for competitors. However, one thing that goes above and beyond the result of a match is sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is the heart and soul of not just the sport, but the community and fun environment it creates. As major Sectional junior events wrap up, USTA Florida is proud to share how the organization has been supporting and encouraging sportsmanship within the community.
Above: Junior players are proud to receive a Sportsmanship Pin (Photo: USTA Florida)
Sportsmanship instills positive values in athletes as well as teaches crucial life skills. “We are dedicated not only to promoting a solid competitive atmosphere, but also to developing players into respectful adults,” USTA Florida said. These qualities extend far beyond the tennis court, shaping young athletes, coaches, and parents into responsible, respectful, and compassionate individuals.
To help teach and grow sportsmanship, USTA Florida alongside USTA launched its Sportsmanship Pin initiative many years ago. This highlights players who may not always win the match, but those who win through showing respect for opponents, coaches, and officials. It also can be awarded to coaches and parents who show sportsmanship characteristics.
Wonder how it works? Officials award sportsmanship pins to players, parents, or coaches that demonstrate excellent character traits including integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Above: It doesn’t take any additional skill to be a good sport (Photo: USTA Florida)
Some examples include applauding good shots, making fair calls in tight matches, supporting both competitors as a parent or coach, helping someone who has injured themselves on or off court, and many other ways.
At the Bobby Curtis Doubles Section Championships this year, sportsmanship was flooding the courts. More than 20 sportsmanship pins were handed out to players, coaches, and parents in attendance.
Sportsmanship in tennis is not just a desirable trait but one we must all encourage in order to grow the future of the sport. It represents values that extend beyond the tennis court and shapes young athletes into responsible, respectful, and compassionate individuals. These junior players learn from their parents and coaches who are leading by example and being good sports.
Above: USTA Florida awards pins and puts it on players who show great sportsmanship (Photo: USTA Florida)
USTA Florida is committed to promoting good sportsmanship at all tennis events and is excited to see this initiative inspire others to do the right things on and off the court.
Written by: Jaret Kappelman, Marketing & Communications Coordinator for USTA Florida. Be sure to check out USTA Florida, the governing body of amateur tennis in Florida, offering tennis programs for all ages and ability levels. Photos courtesy of USTA Florida.