Importance of Sportsmanship 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 unlikely that everything will always go your way in life. There are going to be instances in which you will not get your way or you feel you are cheated out of something you deserve.
It is these adverse situations that sportsmanship plays a key role in. If you have been a good sport your entire life and are taught self-control from a young age, adversity will come easier for you because you have experienced it before. A big reason that sportsmanship is important is that you are not just representing yourself when you play. You represent your entire community and all that it stands for.
If several players from a certain school are very unsportsmanlike and dirty, their school will begin to get this reputation. If someone continues to yell and complain all game, their community is thought of in this sense. A prime example of this is the fans and players involved in the Pistons-Pacers brawl in Detroit. Although many of the Pistons fans showed restraint and did not further provoke the incident, the entire town of Detroit is viewed on a lower level now because of a select few. This is especially true in high school athletics.
Sportsmanship is a vital part of athletics. It molds the morals and ethics of student-athletes for the rest of their lives. The qualities instilled in players can be used in many real-life situations and will make the community a better place. It gives the community a much more positive environment and promotes healthy relationships with your peers. This is why sportsmanship is an essential part of educational athletics.