When you are on the field of play, it is vital that you remember to be very sportsmanlike, for numerous reasons. There are many spectators who come to enjoy the competitiveness and excitement of high school athletics and a bad sport can turn a good, hard-fought and enjoyable contest into an ugly, forgettable one. Cheap shots and verbal attacks on fellow student-athletes can forever taint a positive athletic career, and that is why it is vital that sportsmanship is emphasized from a very young age.
One reason that sportsmanship is important is the fact that it promotes healthy relationships with your peers. Whether you are talking to coaches, teammates, officials, or even opposing players, it is important that you always speak in a positive, controlled tone. Once this quality is instilled in you, it will help you with communicating for the rest of your life. Your opinions and views are more likely to be heard if you speak calmly, and this can be taught from a very young age, especially in athletics.
Another reason in the importance of sportsmanship is that it sets a good example for spectators, namely children. Kids are very observant at a young age, so when they see a varsity athlete yell at an official, or get into a fight during the contest, they are easily affected. However, if they notice that all of the players involved are very courteous and sportsmanlike, they are more likely to act the same, and to be courteous to their peers, parents, and teachers. Although children are the majority of spectators affected, adults can very easily be affected as well. There are many parents who step over the line and yell and scream for an entire contest at officials and coaches. This can be limited if the players and coaches show self-control on the field or court. Parents are less likely to open their mouths if their child is not.
A third reason is that sportsmanship teaches you how to handle adversity with dignity. It is very...