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Everything Counts: 52 Remarkable Ways to Inspire Excellence and Drive Results by Gary Ryan Blair

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Chapter 45. Sportsmanship Counts

"Sportsmanship offers the athlete an opportunity to develop life skills and qualities such as character, teamwork, honor, discipline, and excellence."

Whatever happened to good sportsmanship? How is that from the peewee to the professional leagues, trash talking, fist fights, profanity, cheating, gambling, drugs, threatening game officials, and blatant disrespect for coaches, teammates, and competitors has become tolerated, accepted, and even glamorized?

The choice made by athletes to engage in sportsmanlike behavior depends in large part on how the sport is structured by coaches, parents, and fans. Good sportsmanship begins with an understanding that the principle nature of athletics, sports, and physical education are an integral part of the educational process. These activities offer innumerable opportunities to learn skills that last a lifetime.

Teaching good sportsmanship offers the athlete an ideal opportunity to develop life skills and qualities such as character; teamwork; honor and fair play; excellence and hard work; discipline; the ability to overcome adversity and failure; resiliency and perseverance; joy and humility; respect; maturity; unselfishness; responsibility; goal setting; planning; citizenship; and a competitive spirit. These success and survival skills are all the direct benefits of learning and teaching good sportsmanship.

Sports are an extension of our societal mores. If an athlete chooses to engage in unsportsmanlike behavior, ...

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