This I Believe

Amanda - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humility, sports

I believe in sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship to one person may mean helping someone up after they fall down or it may even mean shaking hands at the end of a tough match. Sportsmanship allows people to do the things they love without worry or fret. Sportsmanship is the great respect everyone should have for each other every day, all the time. Mostly acknowledged in sports, sportsmanship is an extremely desirable quality. Whether the players are losing or winning, their attitudes toward their opponents never waver. Whatever it is, sportsmanship is there in all of us; we just have to find it.

I am grateful to have been on two different sports teams that have both received sportsmanship awards. In one of my earliest soccer tournaments many years ago, our team received the award. At that time it was just another trophy to put on my shelf, but it means much more than that. It shows what type of players we really were and the morals that we valued. We demonstrated sportsmanship during that tournament by treating our opponents with respect; no matter how they treated us. In addition, we didn’t boast about our triumph over the opposing team or brag about our skills in front of them. We made sure that every member of our team shook hands with everyone on the other team. Of course, this may seem a tad unrealistic in some people’s views, especially in the world we live in today, but that is only because sportsmanship is a low priority.

More recently, our high school volleyball team received one of two sportsmanship awards given out this past fall season. Even when we played five games and lost by a mere three points we didn’t let our faces fall, “trash talk” about the other team, or complain about the bad calls the referee might have made. Sure, we were somewhat angry at first, but the sportsmanship inside us shined brightly when we calmed down and told ourselves to move on and try to do better next time. Sportsmanship can not be measured in writing or on a test. It is simply found within us. That is what makes it truly special and extraordinary. The certain things that can’t be measured seem to be the most amazing qualities that human beings can value.

Sportsmanship must never be forgotten in our world of competition or in our ridiculously hectic, busy, crazy lives. As new technology is currently overshadowing the Earth and cliques rule the schools, we must not overlook one of our most important intrinsic values, sportsmanship.