"One who plays a sport fairly and loses gracefully" is how The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines sportsmanship. What is a sportsman? The definition seems to have undergone a big change over the years.
If children follow the example set by today's athletes, the definition would equal a sore loser. High school sports should be a fun way to physically express yourself as an athlete, but at the same time learn some of life's lessons, like sportsmanship, discipline, and respect. In today's society, winning comes before everything, but if winning requires neglect of good sportsmanship, then nothing is gained in the long run. Sportsmanship matters not only in sports, but also in the rest of our everyday lives. In any competition,
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How can children be expected to learn good sportsmanship if their role models are telling them to "win at all costs" or "just do what ever it takes (to win)?" Athletes and sports- crazed parents should remember that whatever the situation, it is just a game, because without good sportsmanship in activities, the lessons learned lose their value. Michigan State University's report, "Sportsmanship: Building Character or 'Characters'?" on the Youth Sportsman Institute webpage, explains the basic idea of how the role of children's participation in sports affects their sportsmanship. The report gives examples of how good sportsmen, and bad sportsmen are viewed by society. The Youth Sports Institute says, "participation is viewed as a double-edged sword that may have either negative or positive effects on the child"("Sportsmanship",1) and that "the critical factor in determining whether the youth sports experience has a positive or negative effect on children is the quality of adult leadership"("Sportsmanship, 3). The story "Friday Night Lights", written by H.G. Bissinger, gives examples of bad sportsmanship, like the Youth Sportsman Institute suggests. "Friday Night Lights" is a story about a football-obsessed town in Odessa, Texas. The whole story expresses winning or losing the game as a life or death situation. In Odessa, bad sportsmanship isn't just a problem for the athletes; it is a