Sports are a great asset for us all. These include several outdoor games and indoor games. Mainly outdoor games, like hockey, football, and cricket, are an interesting form of exercise, helping maintain a good physique and good health.
The basic utility of games is undoubtedly helping us to maintain our body, beautiful and healthy. This applies to all of us. For example, all children with delicate and fragile body frames should be encouraged, and if necessary, even forced to play games. This will help them breathe in fresh air if they are encouraged to have exercise or play in the open field. Such sports build up the muscles of the child, and he develops a healthy and attractive body. Minor ailments like cough, headaches, and fevers remain at a distance from athletes. Sports provide a systematic and regular exercise pleasingly and provide enjoyment and sufficient physical strain. Children in a poor state of health must participate in sports as this will ensure good health and an improvement in the body’s building.
Sports also play a vital role in infusing discipline in players. While at the field, a sportsman always has to act according to the rules of the game, with set norms of discipline of the game. This inculcates the individual a sense of working according to rules and regulations, whether at home, at the games field, or in his office. Thus, this working as per rules gets translated into all sportsman spheres of life, with ease and convenience. He learns to work as per schedule, complete command of whatever job he takes in hand, and always works in complete obedience to the rules set for the work.
Another important value imbibed in an athlete is team spirit, which is essential for later life success. One learns to accommodate and adjust with all others, maybe even of opposite temperaments, because, without this team’s adjustment, they cannot present a united front against the opponent and so never win a game. A sportsman knows how to deal with very irritating people for him as he knows that adjustment with every member of the team is necessary and a key to any success. Learning this great art of adjusting, the sportsman is bound to be on the list of successful adults. He has learned the great art of working together in harmony with others who may as individuals even be very repulsive to him. Still, nonetheless, he cannot afford a show of temper to any member of his team because he very well knows the fact that success is never a single person’s achievement, it is a group effort, so the group must be kept in good humor if the work is to be done successfully and with grace.
A sportsman on the games field also develops a sense of selflessness and a fellow feeling. He learns that no matter what position he holds in the games field, he often has to sacrifice his fellow players. He has to remember that if the game has to be won, it has to be so with all the players’ help and co-operation; no player is big or small. Victory, if achieved, is a credit to be shared by all the players equally. No matter how great the achievement of one player may have been, victory has to be attributed to the team and not the player. This teaches each individual on the field the art of sharing even name and fame, credit, and appreciation.
Another great quality that athletes imbibe is their acceptance with a smile of other team players’ mistakes and drawbacks. Instead of fighting or abusing a co-player for a mistake, he might have made, a sportsman accepts others’ mistakes and forgives them all, as he would understand and justify his own mistakes. This makes a sportsman very accommodating and considerate.
The greatest of all qualities in a sportsman is the quality of his having a sportsman’s spirit. He learns how to win with grace and also to lose with cheer. He learns the hard fact of any game (even of life) that once he sets to play, there is a 50% chance of winning and, of course, 50% of losing too. So he is always prepared to face the hardships of losing a game. He never becomes proud after a victory, nor does he ever feel disappointed after losing a game. If he is a winner once, he may be the loser next time, and if he is a loser this time, he may win the next. He learns by being a sportsman that winning and losing are never a permanent feature for anyone, so he maintains a balance of behavior in every situation. This understanding of the spirit of the game makes a sportsman a little different from all others. For human as we all are, we are apt to become proud of our victories and ashamed of our defeats, but this is altogether different in a sportsman, as he learns the rules of the game that there is no reason to be proud or ashamed, for situations keep changing for all. He realizes that victory and defeat are two sides of the same coin.
Thus, we can conclude that sports are an essential attribute of life. Sports build us up physically, mentally, and even spiritually to some extent, as we learn to take gains and losses in the same stride. We can face the onslaughts of the world if we are good sportsmen because we have all the ingredients of successful and happy individuals. We have in the bargain developed so many great qualities of head and heart that, when these are translated into action outside the games field also we score much above others who have not been able to come to the higher level of human existence and continue to possess all the weaknesses of humans. These weaknesses the sportsmen also had, but they have had to shed lower feelings and sentiments of us humans by entering the sports field.
We have a lot in praise of sports but, that does not mean that sports are without any disadvantages. It has often been seen that children who are seriously interested in sports get away from studies and even from other school or colleges’ extracurricular activities. This makes them develop into singular personalities instead of towering rounded personalities.
After studying the value of sports in its totality, it is thought that sports must be encouraged as they teach us a lot of good qualities which no other art can imbibe in us.