Power of Sportsmanship

Wikipedia defines sportsmanship as an inspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. true, but sports, in itself, del

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Wikipedia defines sportsmanship as an inspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. true, but sports, in itself, delivers mixed messages. Everyones plays to win and there are no points for coming second. When every game is competitive , the true sense of sportsmanship lies in graciously accepting the wins and the losses. In this context, the world is full of examples of good sportsmanship like when David Luiz, the defender on the Brazilian side, walked over to James Rodriguez, and called on the crowd to acknowledge him for his spectacular effort in the FIFA World Cup and bad ones too like when Mike Tyson chomped out both ears of opponent Evander Holyfield.

For quite some time now, sports are seen as a way to instil important values in people. It has even been considered as a substitute for traditional ways of educating children. There is an extremely important underlying assumption here and it is that sportsmanship is to succeed by the wayside. If it fails, the whole experience can go sour and people miss the whole point of playing. Good sportsmanship is important.

But what is at stake if hood sportsmanship isn’t upheld? The lack of respect, integrity, civility and fair play, makes any sport a bad experience for the ones who play. we lose out on a whole section of people from sports because they don’t have a nice experience. The future with better humans is at risk. One should not lose their morals just to be competitive. With all that being said, is there an ideal sportsman? Or rather, what makes an ideal sportsman? One could argue that Jim Thorpe was probably the best sportsman. Throughout his career, he garnered multiple accolades and commanded respect to go along with it but his life was always mired in controversy because people had never seen anyone so good and that raised a lot of rumours and suspicions. He played solely for the love of the sports. When he was stripped of his medals for violating the rules of amateurism by playing in the minor-league baseball in 1909-10, he decided not to campaign for his innocence, rather he was firm on the statement that he played just for the fun of it. Still. his 15 records have not been recognised.

This begs the question, did he take his understanding of sportsmanship and love for the game too far? Food for thought.

All in all sports coupled with good sportsmanship teaches us some very important values that are imperative to get success in life. Empathy, self-control, courage, fairness, and persistence to name a few. The power of sportsmanship lies in making humans more aware of these values and creating future that nurtures these values.