We can all get caught up in the moment, and sometimes the spirit of competition blinds us to the needs of others who are struggling… but at other times we look past our immediate goals and try to do the right thing. In one of yesterday’s Olympic cross country skiing events we saw Sportsmanship in practice, and it was superb:
A Russian skier had broken his ski earlier in the race and was struggling to finish the course. After going down a small hill, the skier crashed, and it was clear that he could not continue on his now fully broken ski. Out of nowhere, a man appears with a replacement ski. At first glance, you figure it has to be a Russian coach or assistant, simply judging by how much the man is hustling… then you realize he’s wearing different team gear. The man who came to the skier’s rescue is a CANADIAN skiing coach!
How does this extend to lacrosse? How does it NOT?
Sport is not about crushing your opponent and winning no matter what. Sport is about competing hard, trying your best, and doing things the honorable way. The Canadian coach gives us a great example to follow, so whether it’s picking a guy up after you lay him out and the ball goes out of bounds (instead of celebrating in his face) or shaking your opponents hand after the match, saying “good game,” and meaning it, try to keep sportsmanship at the forefront of whatever you do.
Without sportsmanship, you’re just playing games. Take it to the next level and add in a test of your character!