Is Sportmanship Dead?

Sportsmanship may be on the decline for professional athletes, but that doesn't mean you and your family can't work to keep it alive. 

Ben Greenfield,
March 9, 2013

Is Sportmanship Dead?

by Ben Greenfield

With former Olympic athlete and double amputee Oscar Pistorius going to court for the alleged killing of his girlfriend and being found in possession of testosterone, and ex-professional cyclist Lance Armstrong getting stripped of his titles for blood doping and use of illegal, performance-enhancing drugs, you may be wondering if sportsmanship is dead.

Sportsmanship may not be dead yet, but it could be dying as the morals of professional athletes continue to decline. So what can you do to ensure that you, or your children, avoid becoming tainted news stories rather than respected heroes and role models?

1. Take Responsibility. If you make a mistake, take responsibility for what you did, then work to put things right. When you take responsibility, your reputation grows, along with your self-confidence. But if you make a mistake and dodge responsibility, blame someone or something else, then walk away, you leave a problem you created, your reputation declines, and you miss an opportunity to make yourself a better person. So even when it’s embarrassing or inconvenient, take responsibility.

2. Do Hard Work. There is no magical shortcut to success. Many people try to bypass years of learning or hard work to make money fast, get fit fast, or lose fat fast, but ultimately, consistency and time are what create success, and not quick fixes, cheating, or drugs. Learn to get sweaty, get calluses on your hands and work hard, and you’ll create good sportsmanlike character.

3. Live Healthy. While even many professional athletes who “cheat” are technically healthier than much of the average population, they may have found that they didn’t need to cheat or use drugs if they’d simply eat healthier, live healthier, and recover healthier. Rather than constantly beating the body and then relying on drugs to recover more quickly, it’s a good idea to take care of the little environmental and dietary factors that may be polluting your life.

If you want to weigh in with your opinion on whether sportsmanship is dead, you can do it now at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy page!

Natursports / Shutterstock.com