EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 50


   To be a good sport does not necessarily imply the participation in any game, unless it is this game called Life. It requires the same qualities to stand up under the competition and adversities of everyday life as it does to give a good account of one's self in a grilling game of football or a 15 round boxing match. To display a good brand of sportsmanship does not mean that one need win at anything. The average winner displays less sportsmanship than the poised and gracious loser. When one is defeated, after doing his level best, yet remains poised and even tempered, he displays far more sportsmanship than the winner who shows the slightest tendency to boast of his victory. While the world admires a winner and it is human nature to enjoy being successful, victory does not always spell success. Neither does defeat necessarily mean failure, It is far better to be an honest loser than a dishonest winner. When someone wins, another must lose; if this were otherwise competition would not exist as there would be no need for it.

   One should never permit the outcome of a game to influence his good opinion of himself or others. There should be no resentful beefing or razzing on either side. There may be another time when the shoe is on the other foot, so one should never lose sight of the proper sense of values. The player who is stuck on himself and thinks he knows it all is not a good sport. He is selfish, egotistical, jealous and an introvert in every sense of the word. He deceives no one but himself. Because he thinks he is perfect, he will not permit himself to continue to learn; his advancement ceases, his game suffers and begins to decline. He soon finds himself on the sidelines as a "has been." In fact, he has never been anywhere from the start. There is no room for these petty faults in the make-up of a true sportsman or sportswoman.

   Certainly, one should take an honest pride in his ability to play the game, for such pride and enthusiasm is necessary to create and maintain a keen interest which is essential in order to acquire skill at anything. The true sport realizes this and strives fairly to win because the game is the thing of most importance; win or lose, it makes no difference to his true self.

   Good sportsmanship means a great deal more than mere compliance with the rules and regulations of a game. There are certain ethics, which one must voluntarily take upon himself to observe, that the rules do not cover. To be unethical does not mean that he commits an act for which he is barred from the game. There are no rules or laws to make a person be a good sport except those of his own making. One cannot steal, borrow, buy or sell good sportsmanship, As stated before, it must be acquired.

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