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Winning is what all athletes strive for. Unfortunately, some athletes let winning become all-encompassing. By short true sportsmanship, both sides can win regardless of the outcome. Here are five ways that you can show true sportsmanship.

1. Be Supportive

When your team is losing, it can be easy to feel negative. But don’t take that disappointment out on your teammates. Support others even when the game is not going well. It can mean the difference when things swing and you need teammates on your side.

2. Positive Attitude

Being negative can have a major impact on not just individuals, but entire teams as well. When you are negative, it can permeate the team and make the entire experience negative for all involved. Having immature or childish behavior on top of that can dampen the game and make it less fun, too.

3. Respect

No matter which side of the fence you fall on, it is important that you show respect to those not only on your team, but on the opposition. Being disrespectful in your words or actions can have an impact not only on the other team, but those on your own team as well.

Trash talk has its place within the boundaries but crossing over into personal territory takes it way too far. Enjoy the spirit of the game, don’t stomp all over it.

4. Learn

The best athletes never stop learning. Even when they are dominating the competition, they look for ways to improve themselves. Even the most accomplished coaches know that the learning experience never truly ends, either. Be willing to learn and you will see a growth in your game.

5. Self-Control

Emotions can run high, particularly in tightly contested games. But make sure that you keep emotions in check. When emotions get out of control, it can take the focus off of the game and turn into something ugly. Out-of-control emotions can not only embarrass you, but your entire team as well. Don’t let the heat of the moment get to you.