What do all of these things have in common? They’re some of the most recognizable rivalries in sports today.
Rivalries are at the heart of athletics regardless of the level of play. There’s always a team or an individual athlete that drive opponents to train harder, dig deeper and play fiercer. It’s the core of many athletes and teams.
It’s also a component of the game that continuously drives us to strive for more and get as close to perfection as humanly possible. But, there is a fine line between a healthy rivalry and bad sportsmanship.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment of a hard earned victory or a devastating loss, but despite the outcome, we should all strive to be good sports. Winning and losing will always be part of the athletic world, but how we deal with the end results of a competition is what matters most.
It is perfectly normal and acceptable to be a fierce competitor or to have a rival – someone you’re out to beat! This is a natural part of the game. However, flaming tempers, inappropriate gestures and even worse, violence are never acceptable.
We’ve seen numerous stories from across the country and even the world regarding fans, athletes and coaches letting their tempers get the best of them in exciting situations.
One of the most important things an athlete, coach or fan can do is to have good sportsmanship despite the situation, but often, this is much easier said than done.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) supports good sportsmanship so much that we’ve even made an entire program promoting it!
The LHSAA wants all athletes to remember that character and sportsmanship conduct are just as important as athletic ability. An athlete who works hard and respects those associated with the game, including his or her rivals, will excel on and off the athletic arena. This year, the association developed a program rewarding and recognizing those student-athletes that go “Beyond the Game” with good sportsmanship.
Each month, you can nominate a student, coach, teacher, faculty member, booster or fan to be recognized for all that they do to support and promote sportsmanship. Congratulations to Jennifer Boudreaux, a student at Mandeville High School, for winning Sportsman of the Month in October. Our November winner was Barbe High School student, Sara Nicole Corbello.
In December, Joshua Alexander, a student at Breaux Bridge High School, was recognized for his great sportsmanship. Fontainbleau High School Principal John Vitrano and Athletic Director Dan Conlin were recognized in January and February for setting great examples.
Congratulations to all of our Sportsmanship Spotlight of the Month winners! If you know someone who deserves to be recognized for going Beyond the Game in sportsmanship, visit our website at www.lhsaa.org and click on "Schools" then Sportsmanship to learn how to submit your entry.