Sports are physical, competitive games and activities. These fill the need for physical exertion and play. All sports, be it a game or a physical task, are potentially competitive. This is the main difference between recreation, leisure or sports.
For recreation, there is usually no physical competition. It can be either indoor or outdoor. It may involve other people or even machines. The purpose of these sports is to relax and occupy one’s mind with an activity that requires no physical exertion.
Sports are engaging, if not competitive, which makes them physically demanding. Because of the physical demands, sports have a competitive element that leaves little room for relaxation. But even more important than the competition is the mental strain that the sport places on the athlete. In fact, there is almost no escape from the mental strain.
As a matter of fact, sports activities make you sweat, you’re tired, you’re sore and your heart is beating a little faster. But then again, you might have trained for your sports to make it easier and faster. What is overlooked though is the effect that the stress you are putting on yourself has on you. In sports, especially in contact sports such as football, rugby and wrestling, your performance could very well depend on how you perform physically and psychologically. Your performance is not only based on talent and skill but also on how badly you are hurting.
Good sportsmanship is required not just to perform well but to win as well. In sports where there is competition, winning means getting to the winner’s podium. If you don’t win, you didn’t achieve your goal. But when you win, you have achieved your goal – so that’s another reason for sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship is also to acknowledge the presence of other competitors even when you are the last person standing.
And lastly, sportsmanship means not to take undue advantage of the opponent. In sports where there is competition, sometimes it is unavoidable to readjust or even game the odds a bit. But remember, it is not the odds and your ability to read them that count. It is your ability to know how to behave in the heat of competition and to put gracious effort into your performance. And above all, sportsmanship means respecting one another and the sport itself.
So if you ever come across someone who is belittling another person, don’t be too quick to defend yourself. Instead, show them sportsmanship by brushing aside their argument with logic and grace. Refrain from arguing with them. Instead, ask them to explain themselves. If they can, present their point of view as well. This would make them more appreciative of your point of view.
Sportsmanship can be taught. All you need to do is to find someone who is good at sportsmanship and try to learn from them. Soon enough, you will learn the proper way of acting in competition. Not only will you win your game, you will win the respect and admiration of others.