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Playing Fair, Having Fun
A Kid's Guide to Sports and Games
By Daniel Grippo, R. W. Alley
Abbey PressCopyright © 2004 Daniel Grippo
All rights reserved.
It's Great to Play!
Playing is fun, and it's good for you, too. When you play, you feel alive and happy. You run and jump and shout. You laugh and get excited.
You grow strong and healthy when you play. And you learn new things, too—about how to play different games and how to play well with others.
You can't play all the time, of course, because you have other things to do—like sleep and clean your room and go to school. But it's fine to play as long as you also do the things your parents and teachers ask you to do.
Enjoy God's Creation
God wants you to be happy. When you are laughing and having fun with others, God is happy too.
When you play, you get to be joyful and creative—like God. You can make up worlds in your mind, just as God created the world you live in.
Enjoy God's creation in all its wonder. It's time to play! Hurray!
You're Different—You're You!
Maybe Justin is bigger than you and always gets picked for teams first. Maybe Susie is fastest and always wins races. Some kids are good at sports, and other kids are good in different ways.
We all are special in some way. Be proud of who you are. The special things that you like to do are part of what make you YOU!
You may like to play on teams, or you may like to go hiking or ride your bike. There are lots of ways to play. You don't have to be the biggest or the fastest to have fun.
So Many Ways to Play
You don't need a lot of fancy toys or gear to have a good time. You can find things around the house to make up a whole play world!
You can play alone, with your best friend, or on a team. You can play with a puppy or kitten, with your brother or sister, or your mom or dad.
Think about all the things that are fun for you. Maybe you like to draw or sing or write stories. Make up your own games doing the things you like. Then teach them to your friends.
Play It Safe
Whether you're playing in your driveway or on a soccer field, you need to have the right safety gear—like a helmet or shin guards. Keep your gear in good shape and all in one place, so you know where to find it.
Every sport has safety rules to keep players from getting broken bones, or worse. Play by the rules, so no one gets hurt.
Have you ever watched "extreme sports" on TV? Those daring skiers and boarders look very cool. But TV doesn't often show the ones who crash and get hurt. Doing stunts like that is "extremely" risky. Leave it to the pros!
Worried About Messing Up?
Sometimes playing sports can make you nervous. Everyone is watching, and you don't want to mess up. You might think, "What if I drop the fly ball? What if I miss the goal? What if I come in last?"
We all mess up sometimes. Pro baseball players are good if they get a hit once every three times. That means they "mess up" two out of three times!
Some things in sports are very hard to do. But as you practice and try hard, you will see yourself getting better. Don't worry about messing up—just get in there and have a good time!
Maybe your coach yells at you a lot, or doesn't let you play as much as you want. If you think your coach is being mean or unfair, try to talk to him or her. Ask what you can do to make things better. If things still don't work out, talk to your parents about what to do.
Sometimes your parent is your coach. If you feel your mom or dad is being too easy or too hard on you as a coach, talk with him or her at home after the game.
Some parents get carried away watching you play sports. Maybe your dad yells at you from the sidelines, or your mom gets mad if you don't have a good game. This can make you feel bad, because you want your parents to be proud of you.
Let your parents know how you feel. When they understand they are making you feel bad, they can try to change.
Be sure to tell your parents thanks for all they do for you and your team. Thank your mom when she leaves work early to take you to practice. Thank your dad when he brings snacks and drinks for your team.
Sometimes kids you play against will play dirty or cheat. They might push you when the ref isn't watching or trip you when you're about to score a goal. They might say bad words or call you a bad name.
Just because other kids play dirty or cheat doesn't mean you have to. Believe in yourself. Play by the rules, even when no one is looking.
You'll always feel good about yourself, and that's the best feeling of all.
Be a Good Sport
It's lots more fun to win than to lose. But no one wins all the time.
If you win, it's fine to be happy, but don't brag about it or rub it in. Remember that it hurts to lose, so be nice to the other team.
If you lose, don't let it get you down. You don't need to blame the refs or your coaches or anybody—just try harder next time. Win or lose, be sure to say, "Good game" to the other team.
Being a good sport means hanging in there, no matter what. Remember, there's always another day and another game to play!
There's more to life than sports. If sports take up all your time, you'll be too tired to do your schoolwork or spend time with your family and friends.
Everyone needs a vacation sometimes. It's okay to take time out during the year just to relax, without being on a team. It's nice to give your family a break, too, because being on a team means lots of planning and driving for your family.
If you like playing on teams all year round, and it's okay with your family, that's fine, too. The most important thing is for sports to be fun for you and your family.
Video games and internet games can be a lot of fun. You can battle aliens in a faraway galaxy or create a perfect city. Sometimes it's hard to stop playing.
Do you play when you should be doing other things, like homework? Do you spend a lot of your time alone playing video games? Do your wrists or hands or eyes hurt after you play? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you could be spending too much time playing.
If you only play video games once in a while, just for a little while each time, you'll feel better and enjoy the games more.
Excerpted from Playing Fair, Having Fun by Daniel Grippo, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2004 Daniel Grippo. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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