Sports are a great asset for us all. These include a number of outdoor games and indoor games. Mainly outdoor games, like hockey, football and cricket etc. are an interesting form of exercise, which helps in maintaining 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. All children for example with delicate and fragile body frames should be encouraged, and if necessary, even forced to play games. This will help them at least 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 an attractive body. Minor ailments like cough, headaches, and fevers remain at a distance from sportsmen. Sports provide a systematic and regular exercise in a pleasing way and provide enjoyment together with sufficient physical strain. Children with poor state of health must participate in sports as this will ensure good health and an improvement in the building of the body.
Sports also play a vital role in infusing discipline in players. A sportsman while at the field has always to act according to the rules of the game, with set norms of discipline of the game. This inculcates in the individual a sense of working in accordance to rules and regulations always, whether he is at home, at the games field or at his office. Thus, this working as per rules gets translated into all spheres of life of the sportsman, with ease and convenience. He learns to work as per schedule complete command of whatever job he takes in hand, as he always works in complete obedience of the rules set for the work.
Another important value imbibed in a sportsman is the sense of team spirit which is essential concomitant for success in later life. One learns to accommodate and adjust with all others, may be even of opposite temperaments, because, without this adjustment of the team, they cannot present a united front against the opponent and so never win a game. A sportsman knows how to deal with people who are very irritating for him as, he knows that adjustment with every member of the team is absolutely necessary and a key to any success. Learning this great art of adjusting, sportsman an is bound to be on the list of successful adults. He has learnt the great art of working together in harmony with others who may as individuals even be very repulsive to him, but 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 humour, 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 for his fellow players. He has to remember that if the game has to be won, it has to be so with the help and co-operation of all the players, 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 single 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 sportsman imbibe is his acceptance with a smile the mistakes and drawbacks of other players of his team. Instead of fighting or abusing a co-player for a mistake he might have made, a sportsman accepts mistakes of others 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 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 a loss in a game. This is because if he is a winner once, he may be the loser next time and also, 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 and that is why he maintains a balance of behaviour 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 all together 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 are able to 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 still continue to possess all the weaknesses of humans. These weaknesses the sportsmen also had but, by entering the sports field, they have had to shed lower feelings and sentiments of us humans.
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 extra curricular activities of their school or colleges. This makes them develop into singular personalities instead of towering rounded personalities.
After studying the value of sports in its totality, if is thought that sports must be encouraged as, they teach us a lot of good qualities which no other art can imbibe in us.