Sportsmanship should be taught at youth level
Heartbreaking losses can be, well, heartbreaking. Most of us have competed on some sort of level, whether on the field or in the classroom at one point in our lives; however, handling the disappointment afterwards shows respect for the game.
Great skill, poor sport
Everyone wants to win. Athletes practice hard day in and day out for the thrill and excitement of the win; nonetheless, someone has to lose. Poor sportsmanship exists internationally and across all age groups, whether it is youth sports or professional sports. Most athletes take the loss like a champion and learn from their mistakes and give credit to their opponents with fairness;
however some athletes don’t take losses well.
Many incidents in sports history have involved talented and skilled players showing flagrant acts on and off of the field or court. These players are role models to young children, especially young athletes who may mimic these actions. The skills displayed on the playing field for some athletes may be unbelievable; yet, the player continues to show poor sportsmanship, not only showing them as salty, but also leaving a foul mark on their team and family.
Poor sportsmanship leaves a sour taste in a spectator’s mouth. It leaves an awful memory and image about that person that takes the love out of the game. Sports include the same ethics that someone would show in the real world. When a player demonstrates shameful acts, it also reflects on their team.
Sportsmanship should be emphasized at a young age by coaches, peers and parents. There are many elements that develop good sportsmanship, ranging from respect for the game, one’s teammates and opponents, as well as displaying the act of fairness from both teams.
Incidents that have occurred at youth and professional sporting events reported revealed athletes are not always responsible for poor sportsmanship. Parents, coaches and spectators displayed violent and vulgar acts, such as riots and brawls at events. This disrespectful behavior not only demonstrates to children that it is okay to be a sore loser; this behavior, if continued by the parents and coaches, carry on into amateur leagues, as well as professional leagues.
It has become much more difficult to display good acts in the sports world, due to the elite level of competition between athletes; however, that is what is taught at a young age. It is not always about the win.
Love of the game
On the other side, great sportsmanship restores faith in humanity that the sport, the players, and the opponents are respected. Thankfully, many parents and coaches teach good sportsmanship at an early age to young athletes. However there should be a harsh consequence leading to termination from the game when demonstrating blatant activities to harm your own team, as well as your opponents.
Once the new generations of athletes begin to take over, parents and coaches must take responsibility on themselves to demonstrate to young athletes what good sportsmanship is. Professional athletes also learned from young age, through parents and coaching, how to play with respect and play fair. Win or lose, athletes must learn how to handle both.