Sportsmanship means not only taking part in sports and playing the game in conformity with the rules prescribed, but also playing the game of the life in accordance with the spirit imbibed on the playing fields. A true sportsman observes all those rules in life which he has been taught to observe in games. One who has achieved skill or proficiency in games but has not learned to apply the principles of sports to life in general does not deserve to be true a sportsman. On the contrary, a man who gives evidence of possessing a strong spirit in the wider sphere of life but has not attained excellence in games is still a sportsman. Usually those who play games develop into true sportsman because their character is molded by the training they are gone on the field.
Fair play, respect for discipline, recognition of the need for team work and cheerfulness even in the event of defeat are thus the dominant marks of a sportsman. It is evident that sportsmanship is something worthy of admirations. It is conducive to human happiness and welfare.
Sportsmanship implies first fair play. In games if any player plays foul, the side to which he belongs is penalized. Similarly in bigger game of life one should always be fair in one’s dealing with others.
Fairness, honesty, integrity, openness of heart and frankness - these are the qualities that a sportsman should display in life. One should not practice deceptions, should not bluff, should not cheat others and should indulge in diplomacy or humbleness. A sportsman never takes undue advantage of the weakness of his adversary nor does he hit below the bet.
Next, sportsmanship implies obedience to the leader. In games the players have to obey their captain and yield to him on points on which they are in disargreemt with him. They should repose the fullest confidence in their captains. In life too, a sportsman yields to his superior even if he does not agree with him. Respect for discipline is an essential part of sportsmanship.
Team spirit is also an important element of sportsmanship. In gams the various players must cooperate with one another if they wish to win a match. Without mutual cooperation, success is impossible. Similarly in whatever sphere of life one maybe, one must aid and be aided by one’s friends if one is a true sportsman. Sportsmanship consists in working in full harmony with others.
In cooperation indeed lies strength. Wherever a common aid binds a number of people together, they must display their sportsmanship by working harmoniously without frictions or mutual jealousy. Finally, the sprite of sportsmanship demands cheerfulness even in the face of a defeat.
When two players play a tennis match, the loser does not cherish any grudge against the winner. In fact the loser congratulates his successor and shakes hands with him.
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