Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

The Real Meaning Of Respecting Rules And Showing Good Sportsmanship

Share This Resource

Jack Bowen, a past Double-Goal Coach® award winner, is an author, water polo coach and philosophy teacher at Menlo School in California. To see him in action and to hear what his players say about him, see this video, made when he won the PCA Double-Goal Coach award.

Bowen teaches his athletes to respect the rules and good sportsmanship, even when they think they can get away with breaking rules. In the example he mentions in this clip, when it’s tough for an official to tell which team touched a ball last on its way out of bounds, he coaches his players to proactively admit it if it they touched the ball last. He wasn’t taught to play this way, and many coaches still positively reinforce players who try to fool the refs to get the ball when they don’t deserve it, but he believes athletes should play as hard as they can within the rules.