When we think of sportsmanship, we often think of being kind and courteous to the other team, shaking hands with the opposing teammates at the end of a game, and refraining from any sort of mean or negative behavior directed towards the other team. The term sportsmanship has been around for a very long time but good sportsmanship shouldn’t just occur on the field or court. It takes place in many aspects of life, and that is why good sportsmanship should be prioritized in all sports.
In the article Sportsmanship: A Deeper Understanding and Its Importance Beyond Sports, three different things are said to be taught to athletes who practice good sportsmanship. These three things are respect, losing with dignity, and winning with humility.
Respect is taught to athletes who practice good sportsmanship because they learn to respect the authority of superior figures (coach) and respect the other team despite their opposing goals to beat each other. They also gain a sense of respect for themselves because of the dedication and discipline it takes to be an athlete.
Athletes learn to lose with dignity. This does mean that they are able to lose a game without being angry or upset and without throwing a fit. However, this goes beyond the game field. Athletes who are good sports will take that skill with them later on in life to their future jobs. If they disagree with someone on a particular subject or idea and the other person ends up prevailing or being right in the end, the ability to lose with dignity will enable that person to move on cooperatively without becoming upset over the loss.
Athletes learn to win with humility when they practice good sportsmanship. This, too, will prove to be a valuable skill later on in life. When this person has a job, he or she will contribute good, quality ideas and strategies to the workplace that are better than the suggestions of other workers. Instead of bragging about it to the other workers, a good sport will help the other workers to see his or her point of view and will help them adjust to the new idea.
Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude.