Positive Sportsmanship

Identify someone who was / is a good sportsperson and who you respect. It may be a team mate, a coach, a friend – but pick someone who you personally know and are familiar with. Describe their personal qualities and character. What was it about the behaviour and performance of this person that inspired, motivated and influenced you?

What personal changes and achievements did you accomplish under the influence of this person?

“A while ago we were playing a game of ‘Stuck in the Mud’ with the juniors at the Dojo. I noticed that if the children were left to play the game they quickly organised around the principle of trying to stay free themselves. Following this principle they were all quite quickly tagged by the chasers. I asked them to change their method and focus only on freeing others who had been tagged. Using this principle the majority stayed free permanently. Since that time I have repeated this experiment always with the same result. I believe there is a very important lesson in this principle and that it relates to the manner in which outcomes can change under no greater influence than a difference in INTENTION. This warrants considerable thought.”
David Dangerfield, 3rd Dan Black Belt of the Aikido Institute.

“Success is the peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. Furthermore only one person can ultimately judge the level of your success – you.”
John Wooden, famous basketball coach.

“It’s great to win, but its also great fun just to be in the thick of any truly well and hard-fought contest against opponents you respect, whatever the outcome.”
Jack Nicklaus, winner 4 US Opens, 3 British Opens and a record 6 Masters titles.

“Even when I went to the playground, I never picked the best players. I picked guys with less talent, but who were willing to work hard, who had the desire to be great.”
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, NBA player

“If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that’s a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life, and there’s going to be a life after tennis that’s a lot longer than your tennis life.”
Chris Evert, champion tennis player.

It’s interesting to note that Chris Evert’s winning percentage .8996, (ie she won nearly 9 out of every 10 matches she played against the best in the world), is the highest in the history of professional tennis. Yet she says that it’s important to see winning and losing in the same way. It’s interesting to recognise that probably the greatest golfer ever, and the greatest woman tennis player of all time – both have a broader intent when they play. That winning for them is not just about winning the game. Read the biographies or some of the quotes from any of the greatest sports champions of any generation, and you will find that they actually see their sport in a much broader way than just ‘winning’. I believe when you hold a broader intent – then you win more anyway – and because of that attitude, you also win even if you lose the match! Many of the problems we see in sport today – performance enhancing drugs, gambling corruption, excessive violence, eating disorders, and so on are a result of a having just a narrow, winning intention, rather than a broader appreciation that sees sport as personal development.

Copyright J. Hodges 2000. For more coaching resources and handouts call 07 5445 7994

Having read the previous quotes, what do you think? What does ‘winning’ mean to you? How do you define success? Relate your answers to the first question on champions in your life.

This exercise is designed to give you a chance to imagine a personal, positive vision of sportsmanship for your team – whether you are a player, coach or parent – and to identify specific behaviours that you can do to encourage positive sportsmanship in the team.

A vision is an ideal, an inspiration towards which we want to strive because it matches our values and beliefs. Without a vision, individuals, teams, and even nations begin the slide into mediocrity and apathy. However a vision that is too general, and that is not grounded in clearly achievable behaviours remains an unreachable dream. Ensure you think of specific behaviours that characterise and support your vision.

1. Describe your vision of the relationship between coach and players, and between members of the team.

2. Describe how you would like individuals and the team as a whole to respond to defeats.

3. Describe how you would like individuals and the team as a whole to respond to victories.

4. Describe your vision of the relationship between players, coaches and officials.

5. Describe your vision of the role of parents and supporters.

Copyright J. Hodges 2000. For more coaching resources and handouts call 07 5445 7994

About Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc.(AES) M.Sc.(Hons)
Jeffrey Hodges is a performance consultant to elite athletes, sporting teams and corporate clients. He is the author of the widely acclaimed “Sportsmind – An Athlete’s Guide to Superperformance Through Mental & Emotional Training” and “Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings”; creator of the Sportsmind performance enhancement workshops and audio tapes; and Director of the Sportsmind Institute for Human Performance Research.

He is a NLP Master Practitioner and Associate Trainer, and his Sportsmind programs have been endorsed by the NSW Dept Sport & Recreation, and recommended by top sportsclubs and successful athletes. Jeffrey has competed in many sports, notably Volleyball, Squash, Soccer and Golf, and currently trains in Aikido, holding a black belt.

Some of his clients to date include :
Australian Rugby Union
St. Joseph’s College
Woodlands Golf Club
Financial Institutions Remuneration Group (FIRG)
Societe Generale
Qld. Swimming
Network for Fitness Professionals
North Sydney and Penrith Rugby League Clubs
Qld. Athletics Assn
NSW Netball Assn
Northern Inland Academy of Sport
Victorian Soaring Assn
Orange Agricultural College Equestrian School
Qld and NSW Departments of Sport and Recreation
Qld Academy of Sport
and the RAAF.

For more information, contact :
FLAXTON Qld. Australia. 4560.
PHONE 61 7 5445 7994
email : jh@sportsmind.com.au
website : www.sportsmind.com.au



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