While there are so many benefits to playing sports, such as learning important lessons about cooperation and even helping with school, there can be an ugly side as well. Sports evoke heated emotions, so much so that it can cause us to say things and make decisions we usually would not. It’s important to keep your composure and perspective, so learn how to show good sportsmanship as a player.
Don’t Yell at Referees
When tensions get high, it’s easy to pin the blame on the umpire. It’s important to understand how difficult their job is and to realize they don’t have a personal grievance against you or your team. Respect the referee and their calls, whether you agree with them or not. You can discuss a call, but as a player, you need to move on, because the call isn’t going to change. Arguing with an umpire over a call can also cost you and your team.
Be Respectful When There Is an Injury
Injuries are a part of the game, and you should help out whoever is down, regardless of if they’re on your team or not. When a player gets injured, you need to put the game aside for a moment and respect their health. Also, you should recognize if the injury is your fault and take full responsibility for it.
Every team and athlete looks for as many advantages as they can, but there’s still a line that you can’t cross. Be fair and don’t cheat to gain the upper edge. Look for more appropriate ways to get an advantage, like using high-quality equipment. Understand your place in the game and why certain calls are made. Don’t take cheap shots that may injury another player, either—play the game gracefully.
Win and Lose with Class
At the end of the game, there is going to be a winner and a loser. As a player, you should win or lose with class and show good sportsmanship by shaking hands with the opposing team. Take the lessons that winning or losing gives you, and remember, it’s still just a game. Don’t revisit any problems from the game beyond the diamond, field, or court.
Knowing how to show good sportsmanship as a player builds character and can make sports a far more gratifying experience for everyone involved.