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Sportsmanship

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  • March 27, 2000
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"One who plays a sport fairly and loses gracefully" is how The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines sportsmanship. What is a sportsman? The definition seems to have undergone a big change over the years. If children follow the example set by today's athletes, the definition would equal a sore loser. High school sports should be a fun way to physically express yourself as an athlete, but at the same time learn some of life's lessons, like sportsmanship, discipline, and respect. In today's society, winning comes before everything, but if winning requires neglect of good sportsmanship, then nothing is gained in the long run. Sportsmanship matters not only in sports, but also in the rest of our everyday lives. In any competition, whether a job interview, a school science fair, or even a friendly game of cards with some friends, sportsmanship teaches you to win humbly and lose gracefully. Sportsmanship also helps us to understand each other better, because when we get along, we can listen to the other person's perspective, and see where they are coming from, and avoid a bad, possibly violent situation. Almost everyday on the news violence is reported at a sporting event, evidence of bad sportsmanship. Without sportsmanship there would be no sports, because no one would want to compete with a person who when they lost, would throw a fit, cry, and whine. Young athletes usually learn sportsmanship from an older person, like a parent, sibling, or, probably the most influential role model, a professional athlete on television. Unfortunately many role models now days are planting the idea of gamesmanship, instead of sportsmanship into the heads of young athletes. Gamesmanship is commonly known as the art of winning games, pushing the rules to the limit, and using whatever means, to gain the advantage over your opponent. Coaches are constantly demonstrating how to be a badsportsman. They walk up and down the sidelines screaming at referees, players, and if...