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Sportsmanship comes in many forms
Sportsmanship comes in many forms and it can make a difference. It can make a difference to the people watching the games and the officials officiating the contest. Some may think sportsmanship only comes from the players participating in the sport.
That is not the case. It comes from the other players, the coaches and fans. Each of these are considered when judging how sportsmanship is at that school. It is easy to be a good sport when you are winning, but to be a true good sport it also has to be when things are not going your way.
Seeing players help an opposing player up, congratulating a player on the way they performed after the competition is done, joking in a good way after it is all done can make a difference. It might not change the outcome, but it matters to the people watching.
Then there are the other teammates trying to fire up their team and keep their spirits up it is like a runner after thinking they are completely exhausted and can not push any harder to get a second kick. That second kick can also come from fans cheering and yelling words of encouragement.
Yes, the fans. I have heard from numerous basketball coaches over the years refer to the sixth player on the court making the difference in the game. No they did not have an extra player on the court. It was still five players against five, but it was the crowd that made their team step it up.
The same goes for any sport. The players on the bench and fans cheering on their team can make a difference. Many people who have seen a football game may have seen a player raising, then lowering their arms to try to fire up the crowd and team and usually gets a response.
But negative yelling, calling out officials for what is perceived as bad calls or worse no response can have a bigger impact. How would a team feel if they tried everything to get the crowd fired up but all they did was sit there in silence and look like they were sleeping.
Every word or lack of words makes a difference and not only players and coaches need to keep this in mind, but the fans as well.
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