Good sportsmanship means not having a “win-at-any-cost” attitude. Most athletes who don’t have a “win-at-any-cost” attitude are more likely to talk about how much they love their sport and how much personal satisfaction and enjoyment they get from being a sports enthusiast.
Losing is part of the game so do not take it out on your opponent or blame the officials or blame your team. Take it in stride. When you lose, lose with class. Being proud of how you performed or at least being aware of things you need to improve next time around is a key learning experience. When it comes to losing, good sportsmanship dictates that you congratulate the winners promptly and willingly. It also means accepting the game’s outcome without complaint and without excuses, even if you sometimes might suspect the referees made some questionable calls.
Unfortunately, this attitude can be traced back to parents and coaches who sometimes put too much pressure on children-athletes to win at all costs. While it is great to be a champion and enjoy the feeling of reaching the top, it is always best to play the game fairly and with fun.
When you win, the noble thing to do is be gracious and be a generous winner. To be a good sportsman is to acknowledge victories without humiliating opponents, being quietly proud of success and letting victories speak for themselves. Even if you win by a landslide, good sportsmanship means finding ways to compliment your opponents.
Some people consider good sportsmanship as the “golden rule” of sports, that is, treating the people you play with and against as you would like to be treated yourself. You demonstrate good sportsmanship when you show respect for yourself, your teammates, your opponents, for the coaches on both sides, and, for the referees, judges and other officials.
Learning good sportsmanship, therefore, is being able to apply the positive attitude discovered during the sports event to other areas of life and work. Appreciate your contributions and that of others in the completion of the team’s project or task. Enjoy your success in sports as well as at work. Learning good sportsmanship is simply being respectful and considerate of others – including fellow employees and customers.