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TAKE 5 with US Youth Soccer Referee Donavan Eubank

EubankYouth sports provide a great avenue for your kids to build self-esteem and learn invaluable life lessons.

They also provide an opportunity for parents and coaches to teach the importance of good sportsmanship to youth athletes. Our kids look to their role models for guidance, and when adults and athletes have a win-at-all-costs mentality it can tarnish the game and bring out the worst in everyone. Good sportsmanship really does matter. 

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with 2013 US Youth Soccer Referee of the Year Donovan Eubank to get his thoughts on the importance of good sportsmanship.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Donovan told us he’s impressed with the overall state of sportsmanship in soccer, which he claims has “steadily increased.”

Donovan also shared his perspective on good sportsmanship from the unique vantage point of a referee.

“As a referee, I try to show compassion for players,” said Donovan. “I understand how the players feel on the field, and I try to adjust my style to their game.”

Donovan also recalled a specific display of good sportsmanship he witnessed while officiating an Under-17 game in Tennessee. Read his full Q&A for the story.

Additionally, according to Donovan, coaches can do quite a bit to promote good sportsmanship among their players.

“Coaches can teach their players sportsmanship by leading by example,” said Donovan. “Respect for opposing teams, coaches, and fans can be seen rather than taught. That is something that all coaches should strive to demonstrate to their players.”

In Donovan’s opinion, good sportsmanship is about more than just the health, safety and well-being of soccer’s coaches, players and parents. He firmly believes that it’s a matter of supporting and upholding “the good of the game.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Donovan, visit And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.

Join the Responsible Sports movement!

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