“Play the game with the spirit of the game” - Jawaharlal Nehru
Life is full of failures and successes but it’s up to us to decide how we percieve the outcome as well as our identity. When we play a game, say soccer or cricket, we are bound to lose or win. Sportsman spirit is the act of accepting one’s success with humility. This type of policy helps us to cope with failures and disappointments that come our way and to make renewed and challenging efforts to achieve success next time. But at the same time, we will develop the way to concentrate and try to win the next game. At such situations, we learn to accept defeat gracefully.
If we lose hope and curse ourselves and fate, we can never progress in life or in the field of sport. A player maybe practically reduced to nothing, but he can work hard and start right from scratch. He can recall how the other team’s calibre had inspired him to match up to their level and improve himself. One should make efforts always to cultivate and harvest sportsman spirit in themselves. We need to keep one’s chin up even in the face of adversity. Indoor and outdoor games can always be provided for children so that they can improve sportsman spirit and acquire training in the game of loss and gain.
Sports is the foundation of health and physical fitness. Noble game with ‘Fair Play’ and sportsman spirit is filled with excitement, thrill, discipline, team spirit, co-operation and hardwork. Sportsman Spirit also combines a sense of friendliness as well as sensation in our minds. This type of spirit is a source of inspiration for the mind. This affects the mind too, skill is a mental quality and a certain dexterity is also needed. This is an excellent quality in a man, which enables oneself to accept defeat cheerfully.
Discipline must also be maintained in any sport we play, it controls one’s fancies, impulses and desires. It is the breath of a civilised life. When a player has all the good qualities on the pitch, he naturally exibits them in the wider sphere of life. A sportsman is always fair in his dealings with other people and never hits his enemies below the belt, he obeys his superiors and never feels heartbroken on account of disappointments. These type of people shall be admired everywhere with respect and dignity. This helps us indeed, to inculate manliness and the will to fight against all odds and unfavourable circumstances. Victory and defeat in the field of sports makes a man strong enough to face life with courage and fortitude.
Here are some examples of characteristics displaying the true meaning of “Sportsmanship”.
1. Exchanging Jersey’s after a match
Exchanging jerseys – A symbol of trust and sportsman spirit.
2. Handshakes before a competitive match
We all have witnessed on a number of occasions, players shaking hands before any match. But there is a true understanding and meaning behind it. It’s a message conveying Sportsmanship indirectly. This shows the mutual trust, fairplay and modesty a player must possess.
#3.) Miroslav Klose‘s decision to confess to referee his goal was by hand.
Miroslav’s timely action was indeed a great one, showing the true meaning of fair play as well displaying the character of a sportsman.
Here are few examples from recent football history showing unsportmanlike conduct:-
1. Pepe‘s ungrateful Act
A sportsman, playing on the field is not expected to play foul. Finally if his team loses, he must not lose his temper or protest. He must maintain his composure and remain calm at all times.
We all must have heard of this phrase “Keep it calm, son”. We must all follow this infact. An example of no sportsman spirit or no respect shown to players is Real Madrid defender Pepe. He is a player who deserves to be given no respect. Many football pundits have criticised Pepe for his dishonorable act. Infact, he has lost support from Madrid fans after his stamp on world’s best footballer Messi in an El Clasico.
2. Maradona’s hand of God- No spirit for fair play
Maradona, regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, was a man of god-given skills, having great potential to play football. But he lacked a factor called ‘sportsmanship’. He scored a goal with his bare hands past England goal keeper Peter Shelton. The ball went right to the goal net as Maradona celebrated. Even though the players from opposition side protested, the decision of the referee stood. It was one of the saddest moments of football history.Published 04 Oct 2012, 22:11 IST