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Learning for today: Based on Sports and Power

Reading an article on a sports website can also have its benefits. Being a sports buff, I regularly check cricket related websites, and on one of these websites, I discovered the word ‘gamesmanship’. It just struck me that I had heard the sentence, ‘so and so displayed sportsmanship today in the game’, but the usage of gamesmanship eluded me at the spur of the moment and made me think about the actual difference between these two words.

What is the different between ‘sportsmanship’ and ‘gamesmanship’?

Gamesmanship, in short, is reflected best by the Vince Lombardi quote, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. If you practice gamesmanship in a sport, there is only one thing that you are concerned with: winning. Whatever it takes to win, you commit yourself to it, and if this includes committing fouls, hurting your opponents, cheating on the rules, or taking drugs to boost your performance, so be it. At the end of the day, it is about winning the ‘GAME’.

Sportsmanship, on the other hand, is the gentleman’s prerogative: it revolves around playing the game by rules, respecting your opponents and ensuring that the ‘spirit’ of the game is never abused. The honour that you receive when you play the game by the rules is called sportsmanship.

Hope this clarifies things a little for these two words.

But why stop at these two words? I decided to dig in a little further, and can outline a few expressions that are related to the two concepts we have talked about above:

Sore loser:sore loser refers to one who does not take defeat well,
Good sport: Good sport means being a “good winner” as well as being a “good loser”, that is maintaining your poise in either case.
Bad Champs: This phrase refers to those people who show poor sportsmanship after winning and are typically called “bad champs”.
Unsportsmanlike conduct/ unsporting behaviour/ ungentlemanly conduct: This is the conduct when one commits a foul or an offence in many sports that violates the sport’s generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and participant conduct.

Do you know any ‘sports-related’ phrase that you would want to feature here? Drop in a comment and I will add it to the post.

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