Sportsmanship vs Gamesmanship:
Knowing The Difference Makes Better Players
Sportsmanship and gamesmanship – Is there a difference? With this questions in mind, it is important for players and parents to understand the difference between the two even before stepping on the court to ensure that no matter what the score is at the end, everyone is happy.
What is Gamesmanship?
To define, gamesmanship puts winning at the centre of everything. Even if that means breaking some of the game rules and that it isn’t classified as cheating unless you are caught. We’ve all heard stories about athletes across many sports doing actions that lead them to have an advantage over their competitors, such as using performance-enhancing drugs, tampering with equipment or even as simple as faking an injury to induce a call. These players are exhibiting examples of gamesmanship
What is Sportsmanship?
In comparison, sportsmanship abides by the ethical way of how basketball should be played. This model focuses on healthy and fair competition that supports essential virtues all players can learn and develop. These include:
All players, referees and coaches should believe that following its rules is the best way that Basketball should be played, preserving the sport’s integrity.
Being responsible for one’s actions is a virtue of sportsmanship. Basketball is a fast-paced strategic sport where emotions can influence a player’s actions. Foul calls, especially during a close game and losses can bring out the worst behaviour in a player. Claiming responsibility for one’s actions helps minimise these instances and brings honour and respect to the game and one’s self.
Sportsmanship also includes respect to one’s self, other players. coaches and officials. The golden rule of “Treat others how you would like to be treated” also applies to the game of Basketball.
Junior Game Development Program
So you might be thinking now: “How can I, or my child develop these skills?” Well, you’re in luck! In association with Basketball Queensland, Vicinity Centres’ Aussie Hoops is Australia’s official junior game development program focused on primary school-aged children. The program provides children aged 5 – 10 with a fun encouraging environment to learn basketball basics, which includes ethical behaviour! The initiative involves a mix of fun warm-up exercises, activities based on skill level, modified, supervised games and teaches kids the benefits of healthy nutrition. Teamwork, cooperation and the virtues of sportsmanship are also taught as part of the development program.
Alternatively, find your nearest association and check out their school holiday camps and fun days!