How Sportsmanship Relates to Life

By Kathryn Hatter
Ezra Shaw/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The lessons of sportsmanship apply to much more than just the playing field. As a child learns valuable skills such as playing fair and following the rules, connect this knowledge with life in general. Youngsters who develop good sportsmanship qualities have a solid grasp of respectful ways to treat other people.


As players in organized sports, respect is an integral part of any game, states Sean Dailey, Fort Decatur Recreation Center supervisor. Players must respect game officials, coaches, teammates and members of the opposing team to be successful. Players must even have a strong respect for the game itself by learning the rules and abiding by them. This respect learned through sportsmanship easily transcends the sports arena and applies readily to life with respect for others, for laws and even for the self by making positive decisions about conduct and actions.


Working as a team is an important part of good sportsmanship, enabling players to work together to play effectively. In baseball, for example, a person tasked as the cutoff chips in on the field to shorten the distance an outfielder must throw to get the baseball into the infield. Off the playing field, teamwork is essential for working on school projects, for working as a family to complete chores or in the workplace to complete tasks, explains the Kids Health website.

Work Hard

Every team member must work hard in sports to enable the team to excel. If players do not put enough effort into playing the game, the end result may be a lower score and even a potential loss. Players who develop the “work hard, play hard” ethic thanks to learning good sportsmanship can often utilize this attitude elsewhere in life and continue putting strong effort into other pursuits in life.

Winning and Losing

Sportsmanship teaches players how to win and lose graciously, according to Hall of Fame baseball star Cal Ripken Jr. As the object of the game involves winning, it’s understandable for a winning team to become jubilant and excited with victory. However, the triumphant team should remember that winning isn’t the only objective, with enjoying the process and learning new skills also being key aspects. A certain amount of humility is also important, because a winning team could also make mistakes that might cost a victory. Conversely, losing also requires sportsmanship skills to keep the loss in perspective. With a loss, players should analyze mistakes, focus on positives and congratulate the winner. When applying these principles to other areas of life, lessons include doing your best, maintaining composure, feeling pride in efforts and acting respectfully whether you win or lose.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.