Home » Blog » Learning the Importance of Sportsmanship Through Workshops and Programs

Learning the Importance of Sportsmanship Through Workshops and Programs

While all student-athletes want to win games in their respective sport, Leaders of Evolution knows that the journey to success also includes some losses and challenges.

Students will never be able to appreciate the feeling of winning when they have never experienced a tough loss. Therefore, all students need to understand the importance of sportsmanship. Because Leaders of Evolution is an organization who aims to help build successful student-athletes, we are invested in answering the question “Why is Sportsmanship Important?”. We have also created workshops and programs for athletes and coaches that develop these skills.

But first, what is Sportsmanship?

Why is Sportsmanship Important | Sportsmanship | Leaders of Evolution
SU vs Boston College (Photos by Michael J. Okoniewski-SU Athletic Communications)

The NCAA defines sportsmanship as “values such as respect, caring, fairness, civility, integrity and responsibility” and says its “key to creating a positive competitive environment for student-athletes across the country. By ensuring that good sportsmanship is met by participants and spectators, sports are at their best. 

One important part of sportsmanship is knowing that there are multiple sides to the subject. In every game, or match, or competition, there is a winner and a loser. It’s important that both sides show good sportsmanship towards each other.

Firstly, athletes must have composure and integrity when they win a game. While a win is a step in the right direction, there are always more improvements that can be made. Athletes who win games must have the self-awareness that there will be more games in their future and they need to respect all participants of the game.

The team or players who lose a game also need to show sportsmanship. One of the most important aspects of sportsmanship is accepting responsibility and overcoming failure. Losing a game is not the end of the world; in fact, teams should walk away from losing stronger than they came into the game.

It is important for every individual involved to accept their responsibility and work on what they can improve upon for the next game. Sportsmanship is all about respecting others and showing your true character. 

In addition to the participants of a sport, coaches and fans also are held to standards of good sportsmanship. While spectators don’t have a direct effect on the outcome of the game, their words and actions can have a major impact on the participants’ emotions and ability. True sportsmanship should be present in all aspects of sports which can be seen in many different ways. 

Why is Sportsmanship Important | Sportsmanship | Leaders of Evolution

What does Sportsmanship look like?

Leaders of Evolution believe that there is no one right way to demonstrate sportsmanship in sports. In fact, there are many different qualities and actions that exhibit this trait. Here are a few qualities that athletes with good sportsmanship possess and can prove on the field. 

Shaking Hands

For a majority of sporting events, players of opposite teams shake hands before or after the game. Shaking hands is one of the simplest yet effective ways of showing good sportsmanship. At the end of the day, all participants of the match are trying to win and trying to play to their best ability. Realizing this and shaking the hands of your opponent shows respect and maturity. 

Apologizing

Every player, at one point in their athletic career, will make mistakes, and possibly cost their team a victory. Leaders of Evolution understands that nobody is perfect and everyone is trying their best. However, the best players are those who can recognize their mistakes and apologize for them. Players who apologize to their opponents and to their own teammates are demonstrating true sportsmanship.

Positive Language

Words of motivation and encouragement are a form of good sportsmanship. Whether you are a player giving advice to your teammates, a coach asking clarification from a referee, or a spectator cheering on your team, good sportsmanship includes thinking about the language you use and making sure it does not offend a group of people. 

Following the Rules

The rules of each individual sport were created and designed for a reason: to keep the game safe for participants and fair. Part of having good sportsmanship includes following and respecting these rules. For example, intentional penalties and deliberate attempts to cheat are examples of bad sportsmanship.

After defining sportsmanship and showing the qualities of proper sportsmanship, athletes still need to answer the question, “why is sportsmanship important?”

Why is Sportsmanship Important?

Why is Sportsmanship Important | Sportsmanship | Leaders of Evolution

Having good sportsmanship is just one personal trait that a leader and strong student-athlete should possess. Sportsmanship is the combination of so many positive qualities such as respect, responsibility, discipline, self-awareness, self-control, humility, accountability and gratitude.

Leaders of Evolution understands that student-athletes who possess these qualities are more likely to win games and succeed in their respective sport. 

These same traits of sportsmanship can be applied to everyday life and lead to success off the field or court. Respecting your coaches and referees can teach you to respect your bosses or co-workers later. Taking responsibility for your mistake on the field will make it easier to take on responsibilities in your future career. 

Leaders of Evolution believes that it is important to instil good sportsmanship into student-athletes early in their athletic career. As adolescents is an important age where people start to develop their personality traits and skills, good sportsmanship is very important to learn. This will allow student-athletes to continue to grow and learn good sportsmanship. 

Sportsmanship in the NCAA

The NCAA has implemented awards and committees to ensure that all student-athletes are demonstrating the highest level of sportsmanship. For example, the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct oversees all university’s sportsmanship policies. This committee also creates programs and workshops to teach athletes and coaches about good sportsmanship practices. 

To encourage good sportsmanship among all athletes, the committee has also created the NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Awards and the Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award. These awards recognize students and coaches who uphold the highest levels of integrity in their respective sport. 

Leaders of Evolution

Alongside the NCAA, Leaders of Evolution is also dedicated to teaching student-athletes good sportsmanship. Students and intercollegiate programs have the ability to take workshops through Leaders of Evolution.

Our workshops can help student-athletes develop the leadership skills they need to succeed.

For more information about our workshops and e-learning programs, visit the Leaders of Evolution website today and sign up for one of our free taster courses or workshops. 

student leadership, athlete development, Learning Management System

Our News. Your Inbox.

FREE, Instant, Access to Leadership Tools

(Valued at $189.00)

Connect With Us

Our Most Popular Courses

About Us

Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

Featured Articles

Rachel Richards

Interested in sports communication and digital media. Rachel loves to travel with her family, and go to concerts and music festivals with her friends. She is always interested in discovering local coffee shops and drinks tea with every meal.

Leave a Comment