Sportsmanship is an expression of seeking to excel. We all have been through the phase in school when our Physical Education Teacher told us that we must also focus on sports, apart from studies. But how many of us took him seriously? By not paying attention to such advice, today our adults suffer illnesses that they could have summarily avoided otherwise. Not to worry. We can salvage the situation. Let us pledge to do so.
In this post, we will examine the benefits of taking up a sport more closely. We hope this encourages you to put on your shoes and pull up your socks. Like, literally.
Sports teaches you to strive to be excellent, and not just the best
When one plays a sport, the initial goal is to beat the opponent. But eventually, the only worthy desire is to improve upon one’s own game. For instance, an Olympic swimmer would have competed fiercely with his childhood nemesis in the swimming heats, but as an Olympian, his goal is to improve upon his swimming itself, to break records, etc. This yearning for being excellent is a direct manifestation of the hard work and positive frame of mind that sports inculcated in us.
Sports teaches you how to lose gracefully
Life is not a bed of roses. The ability to walk through the bed of painful thorns that life throws up is, in part, derived from the tenacity that sportsmanship gives you. To lose gracefully is something that we need to pick up early in our childhood. Everyone loses, but to sulk over it is not something that a sportsman will do. True sportsmen learn from their mistakes and work to correct it. True sportsmen become stronger every time they fall.
Sports makes you a better team player
When one is a good team player, one is a cog in the wheel, and that’s what gets the wheel rotating, and the momentum going. Being a good team-mate is quintessential to being a good participant in a sport. Sometimes, even very talented sportspeople have been benched (not allowed to play), in Favour of a mediocre player who is a better team player. Thus, being a good sportsperson also makes you a great teammate. It helps you build relationships better, be it with your fellow teammates or even people in general.
Sports helps you become a better leader
Some notable examples of exemplary leaders among sportsmen are Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, Anil Kumble, Bjorn Borg, and many more, who have done well at and outside their sports too. This is an exemplary quality in sportspeople that cannot be understated. It comes with building a rapport with the people they lead and by being able to get the pulse of their fans, coaches, and teammates. Leadership is the ability to motivate people, and for motivating others, it is very important for the leaders to be self-motivated and to lead by example. The best sports people are the most motivated individuals. Since motivation is infectious, being a good sportsman also will make you a wonderful leader. In fact, many top business schools in the world explicitly state that being a sportsperson is an added advantage during their admission process.
Sports inculcates discipline
Discipline is the only elixir of sports. Taking up a sport lends you the virtue of being a more organized, more driven person. This, in turn, makes you a disciplined individual. As a sportsperson, one can never miss training. Excuses are anathema. Discipline is the only way, there is no other. Hard work and discipline go hand in hand, towards success.
The examples illustrated here are limited. There are infinite benefits of being a sportsperson. More importantly, it makes you physically and mentally very strong. To be a sport is to be fun. Who doesn’t want to be? Go on, now. Be a sport, and take up a sport!