The Culture of Winning

26 11 2012

Winning is great. There’s no doubt about that. The feeling of winning a final, or
scoring a goal is something that we all love. But why is winning so important?
Why should not we enjoy the game, not the result? As a keen footballer and
cricketer, I have felt the pain of losing and the ecstasy of winning. The recent
Olympics and the current Paralympics do show many variations on the
importance of winning.

For some athletes such as Lam Shin of South Korea, losing is
unbearable. She lost in a semi-final match but refused to leave because she felt
she controversially lost. Now I understand that the Olympics is one of the most
important times in an athletes life, but to spit the dummy and to act like a child
is not the way to go. On the other hand though, British Olympian Tom Daley
only came third in his specialist event and had disappointing results in the others.
Despite this he was clearly happy with his bronze medal and even jumped in the
pool with his team mates. That’s the way to behave is it not?

This win or die trying mentality is not only affecting adult Olympians, but is also
affecting the youth of today. Maybe it is because of what they see on TV or even
the influence they receive from their friends and parents. This leads to many
games where they are ruined by the attitude of the players. Foul play and foul
language have marred many games that I have played in which previously had
expectations of being a fun (but serious), game. Why do people turn angry when
things are not going their way? Why do they have to resort to acting like children
whilst using words that would be inappropriate for even adults? It is a question
that I ask myself after most games and an issue that will most likely grow worse.

Parents are not blameless either. Even though it is in good nature for a parent
to encourage their child to win or to give advice on what they are doing wrong,
this interference can influence a child to place so much importance on winning.
This is the major issue that I have. I like it when my dad congratulates me on
winning and I appreciate the advice that he gives me because I love sport. Now
I am not saying that my dad is not perfect and blameless, but he does not care
about me winning or scoring goals just whether I try my hardest for my team.

This may seem like a biased view but I believe that is how every parent should
act regarding sport.

It would be an uphill battle for me to attempt to change people’s perspectives
on sport, as I know that I am not perfect. Even though I like to think that I show
good sportsmanship and am humble in victory whilst being grateful in defeat I
know that sometimes I may do the wrong thing. But that is the nature of sport
and I personally believe it is wrong. This article is not to have a go at people and
blame people, just to make them think about their attitude and behaviour towards
the pursuit of success and the culture of winning. In the future this may create a
better sporting atmosphere where no matter what the score or the result, we can
all get along and have fun.




One response

3 12 2012

Being competitive is a great part of sport. Nothing like some healthy competition, but the way we deal with our wins and looses is important. If everyone could be humble and get along it would create a better sporting atmosphere.

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