Sportsmanship means team spirit. Team spirit means working in co-operation for the achievement of a common goal. Team spirit teaches the qualities of co-operation, discipline, punctuality, obedience and so on.
Achieving a goal through co-operative and disciplined efforts means sportsmanship. Achieving a goal is not the monopoly of a particular sportsman. One is to see how the goal can be achieved and not who achieves it. One must act in the right way to win victory for the team.
Game is to be played not for victory or defeat. It should be played for the sake of a game. A sportsman should not lose his head in victory. Nor should he feel depressed in case of defeat. He should not feel jealous of the victory of his opponent. He should rather appreciate his superior game. He should be the first person to congratulate him.
A sportsman is always disciplined. The obedience to the rules of the game should be his watch-word. He should not hit his opponent below the belt. He should never use unfair means to win a victory. His integrity should be above board.He should never use foul means.
Like a disciplined soldier, he should not question the decision of his captain or the umpire. Even if they be wrong, he must submit. He must maintain balance of mind.
Sportmanship is the greatest quality of life. It is needed in every walk of life. This world is a big playground. Life is the game and we are the players. It is with sportsman spirit that we can face the problems of life. Otherwise, our life will be a big burden upon us. Unless we learn the art of ‘give and take’ and ‘live and let live’, we are just like beasts. It is round the table that we should try to solve problems and not through guns. We should adopt a liberal and charitable view.
The persons who lack sportsman spirit become intolerant, narrow minded and self-centred. They cannot become great. They cannot work for the mankind. What is required is co-operation and respect for the views of others.
All great men like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru practised sportsmanship. Nehru stood for peaceful co-existence. If we also want to become great, we should cultivate sportsmanship.