In an Olympic ceremony, a represented athlete was taking the Olympic oath. ‘In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams’ (The Olympic Oath). According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘Sportsmanship definition: conduct (such as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.’
Who’s teaching sportsmanship? Coaches, teachers, leaders and could be parents. They need to understand what is sportsmanship before they teach their students or children. Sportsmanship is a crucial part of sports. However, many athletes or players don’t play by sportsmanship. Though sportsmanship is usually defined as fairness and respect in sports competitions, a more accurate definition is a disregard of a rule.
One of definition is fair play, but many athletes use drugs or doping for improving their performances. All players want to win or get high scores in sports competitions, and it results in using drugs or doping that happen on some players. It seems like many players and coaches treat sportsmanship as less critical consideration in sports. Collins mention in his article that not only adult athletes take enhancements. A high school coach in Kentucky got fired because he made his team take a supplement for enhancing endurance capacity.Order now
Parents want their kids to best at sports, and all parents sign agreements, therefore, the coach can give a supplement to the kids. That means they are agreeable to risk ruining their sports (Collins). Coaches and parents supposed to teach youth how important fair play in sportsmanship. It is the same lessons in real life that people shouldn’t cheat in any circumstances. However, many coaches and parents teach kids to focus on only winning or get high score disregard of sportsmanship.
Another definition of sportsmanship is being respectful in sports competitions, but many athletes are acting morally wrong, and audiences often witness many athletes’ bad attitude toward opponents, referees, even to their teammates. When a team lost or achieved a low ranking, many players resist praising opponents’ achievements. Showing sportsmanship needs control one’s emotions even lost in a game and showing proud of themselves how they play a game. Jones explained that In U.S. Open final, Serena Williams couldn’t stop berated chair umpire, and she throws her racket to the ground.
The United States Tennis Association told Williams that she has to pay $17,000 for fine because of her behavior that day (Jones). Serena Williams is a professional tennis player, and probably many youth players admire her. She could be a role model, and she can convince people good sportsmanship. However, she couldn’t control her emotion, and couldn’t be respectful in the sports competition. Sportsmanship is not law, but all athletes should respect it, and influential athletes should demonstrate sportsmanship.
However, there’re fair and respectful athletes in sports. Ichiro Suzuki, who has won many awards include MVP, Golden Glove Awards, and hitting titles, is one of many athletes who demonstrate superior sportsmanship by respecting teammates and playing by the rules.
According to Clair Michael from MLB CUT4, ‘Ichiro treat his baseball bat with as much care as most people have for their children.’ He respects his all equipment same as he respects people around him. More often, audiences see players being disrespectful toward others and fighting with opponents during games, and in the worst cases, even spectators. Thus, most people probably view the definition of sportsmanship as conduct not demonstrated by many players.
The spirit of sportsmanship is being seen less in sports competitions. Is it because of players don’t know the rule or don’t care about sportsmanship? Either way, sportsmanship is ignored in sports competitions, but it shouldn’t be. Though sportsmanship is usually defined as fair play, respect for the game and others in sports competitions, a more precise definition is an optional rule.
To cultivate good athletes who have the spirit of sportsmanship, it’s necessary to groom teachers, coaches, and leaders who understand sportsmanship and be able to instill sportsmanship to future athletes and keep remind it to current athletes. To break the vicious circle of sportsmanship.