The Power of Positive Sportsmanship

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This article by Sophia Hausberger ’22 originally appeared in the Fall 2022 edition of Hamptonia, the Magazine of New Hampton School. The full issue may be found online.

Looking back on my athletic career at New Hampton, my fondest memories aren’t of winning a championship or suffering an extreme loss, but everything in between. At Husky Nation, it’s not about the wins and losses despite our competitive nature and unwavering discipline. Instead, athletics are about the life lessons and leadership skills earned each season. At the end of the day, we play games we love with the people we love, and this is something for which we are grateful. That’s not to say we don’t love to win because we do. But when a team can come together in a safe and encouraging environment, experience a good time together, laugh to ease the pressure, and cheer for each other’s small victories—the winning takes care of itself.

SAAC, New Hampton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was established to cultivate leaders and promote student voices. This committee promotes inclusivity, health, and a positive Husky culture. They have done a great job working with us on the premise that a collective team attitude starts from within our individual selves. Your energy, body, and verbal language are contagious, good or bad. Before you can help support and take care of your teammates, it’s essential to reflect on your own attitude and mental state. Captains must pay special attention to this because they influence the team as active leaders.

This year, the SAAC took the initiative to draft and formally establish a Captain’s Handbook. Not once do we mention winning, losing, or playmaking strategies. It is always about communication skills, attitude awareness, and leading by example, whether you are a quiet leader or a verbal leader. Director of Athletics Jamie Arsenault P’13, ’15 always stresses “positive cheering.” With that, the Husky Howlers, our student cheering section, have positively contributed to the atmosphere around athletics. There’s nothing better than witnessing the entire school come together in the Jake, the courts, and each game field, yelling and cheering, and for that frenetic energy to translate onto the playing field.

Whether it’s a playoff game and everyone is wearing beach attire to celebrate the unifying theme or a random regular season game on a Tuesday night, New Hampton knows how to bring the support and positive sportsmanship. The electric student culture on the sidelines, the coaches and families behind you, and your teammates at your sides combine to create success no matter the outcome.

About the Author

Sophia Hausberger ’22 was a four-year student at New Hampton School. In addition to her academic and leadership achievements, she was a three-season athlete (soccer, ice hockey, and tennis) and a key player on the women’s varsity hockey team as a goalie. Sophia was honored with the Merservey Medal at Commencement and is committed to play hockey at Merrimack College in 2023, and is currently playing abroad for the Lakers Kärnten in Austria, part of the European Women’s Hockey League.

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