Sportsmanship in sport? what is this? well I think that if you have any involvement in sports whether it be as an athlete, manager or a coach you must demonstrate good sportsmanship. why? well quite simply because by showing and practicing good sportsmanship is the basic to success in any sport event. by demonstrating good sportsmanship with your pears it allows you to create/maintain friendship which is vital for team sports such as football. sportsmanship is also seen as showing respect to the opposition, match officials and fans within the sport.
a few bullet point examples of sportsmanship
- having self control
- listening to your coach
- being a team player
- respecting others
- supporting your teammates
- having a positive attitude
However, sportsmanship is more than just being nice to one another and the bullet points listed above. I think the stand out side of sportsmanship is about doing what is morally right during game situations. after all this is where the sport is being played. As a coach you can tell your players the do/don’ts however when there out their on the pitch for the 90 minutes they are in control of the game not the coach because your on the side-line. a perfect example of bad sportsmanship is when a player dives without being touched to try and gain an advantage. watch the video below between 8-50 seconds and decide whether or not this shows good sportsmanship.
During this match it was in the final few minutes of a semi final match with promotion on the line. A player clearly dived to gain an advantage. its very clear that there was no contact, I myself think this is bad sportsmanship and even on the video by the reaction off the opposition players/manager and even the commentators it suggests what that player done was morally wrong. fortunately it comes back to bite him as he misses the penalty and the other team score.
So, relating to what I said before about the most important part of sportsmanship is being morally fair. based of that video its clear it was unfair and the player was showing bad morals 1. against the oppositions players/staff and fans, himself and his team and for the sport itself. (Anderson, 1997) suggests that sportsmanship is when one maintains commitment to being fair, honest and respectful while following the laws of the game and if one does so then they are playing morally.
Demonstrating good sportsmanship as the coach example (Diving)
As a coach I would want to demonstrate good sportsmanship to my players and would expect them to do so to amongst their teammates and oppositions and match officials etc. I would practice with them what makes a good sportsperson so that they know themselves what is morally right. However. linking back to the above about gaining advantages. I would never wish that any of my players deliberately falls over or dives to gain and advantage. however their is a fine margin as to when to go down. if you are touched in the penalty area any type of contact at all I wouldn’t see it being morally wrong if one of my players went over if they where touched and that opposition player had not gotten the ball. my opinion can be backed up by a piece of research. (Sabag et al., 2018) suggests that coaches should assist their players on how to act in penalty area and recommend that the coach should not encourage their players to dive however any physical contact that occurs between the attacking player and the defensive player in the penalty area can be exaggerated in order to convince the referee that a foul has been committed to be awarded a penalty. this relates to what I said as long as contact has been made then you may fall over. watch the video below and skip to 1:30 and watch until 1:52.
it may seem like its a very harsh decision but it I think it was the correct decision to award the penalty. if the player didn’t go down after being shoved the tiniest bit its very unlikely the penalty would have been given. This in my opinion is a moral way of sportsmanship due to the fact that it was a foul on the player.
Its quite clear the differences between both of the videos I have linked on this page. one penalty was clearly morally wrong where as the second video wasn’t morally wrong due to the fact he was actually fouled. As the coach i would say to my players do not deliberately fall over or dive to gain an advantage but do go down if there is contact preventing you from scoring or creating an attacking chance.
Anderson, P. (1997). Marquette Law Scholarly Commons Character is Everything: Promoting Ethical Excellence in Sports. https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1192&context=facpub
Sabag, E., Lidor, R., Morgulev, E., Arnon, M., Azar, O., & Bar-Eli, M. (2018b). To dive or not to dive in the penalty area? The questionable art of deception in soccer. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 18(3), 296–307. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197x.2018.1462100