Rivalries can be fun and bring out the best in both teams, but they can also get ugly. Part of being a good sport, not just a good athlete, is knowing how to be competitive without being mean. (Source: Buzzfeed.com) You probably haven’t committed any major sportsmanship no-nos‚ ahem stealing another team’s routine‚ but lesser mistakes can be difficult to avoid. You can do it though! Just watch out for these pitfalls: Don’t get defensive. You don’t need to start or respond to trash talk. Give ’em your best cheer moves and leave it at that. Don’t make it personal. When a team can’t beat you, the team members sometimes try to make themselves feel better by knocking you down in other areas. Be better than that. You don’t need to talk negatively‚ even amongst yourselves‚ about their appearance or personalities. A good sport recognizes that the best team won and respects its members for that, while planning how to be the best next time. Don’t slack off. If you’re at a competition where the other teams aren’t quite on your level, still take your performance seriously. Approach the event like you would any other, preparing and focusing like normal rather than goofing around because you can win easily. Bringing your all is a sign of respect to your competitors. Don’t be sore losers. If you lose a competition, don’t mope around. If you truly gave your all, you have nothing to hang your head about. It’s OK to be disappointed‚ it shows you cared about winning in the first place‚ but you can still congratulate the winners respectfully and move on. A true competitor is already planning how to do better next time. Don’t resort to negative cheers. Whether the team you’re cheering for is ahead or behind, there’s never a reason to boo or mock the other team. The scoreboard speaks for itself‚ don’t rub it in. If your team loses, the players and fans especially need you to stay positive to lift their spirits and help them come back stronger next time. What tips do you have for maintaining good sportsmanship amidst rivalries?