- Using the readings and your own experience, how can we best overcome this tension? Is it even possible? Can the attention paid to winning be reconciled with the positive virtues developed through sports? If so, how can this be achieved? How can the idea of humility help?
- What happens to the value of the individual in sports when “winning becomes the only thing.”
Can this tension be resolved in any way?
- Be sure to use the readings to which your team was assigned.
A2. One can quite easily overcome the tension of the biggest issue that sports and games may have; the concept of one team or person winning while the other team or person get the title of a loser. In the reading, namely Sport and Spirituality, Watson explains how the tension of winning or losing can be reduced within a sports. He points out that the importance of the game would fall dramatically if the value of winning was and balanced with the value of losing by decreasing the prizes and rewards that are awarded to the winner and loser to an even count (Parry, Robinson, Watson, & Nesti, 2007). However, while Watson makes it sound easy to reduce the tension of the concept of winning and losing in sports, it is apparently extremely difficult to nullify or reduce the concept of winning and losing in sports.
It has always been apparent that the value of winning or losing would impact sports in a way that would make games competitive in nature and of course, this led to the thought of numerous exploits that could be implemented in such games. However, it has also been shown that it is not impossible to devalue the concept of winning or losing. From personal experience, I have come to understand that team play often allows athletes to understand what sports and games are actually supposed to be. Instead of playing in solo purposes, team play often allows athletes to understand their team mates, gather a sense of oneness as they play alongside their teammates in a team for a period of time, and also allows the sports athletes to understand the concept of humility, brace it, and implement it in their daily lives as well as when they lose.
The very concept of humility has allowed sports to have teams and athletes that now understand the value of respecting whoever wins, and to understand and rather try to improve their own games than to complain about losing and try to point fingers at other people, when all an athlete should be doing is enjoying the game, understanding his weaknesses, and rectifying such weaknesses. Humility teaches that, and in doing so, humility also allows an individual to gain more respect for his opponents in sports. This, in turn, allows sports to have a more balanced form of winning and losing concepts, which allows the game to become prevalent in the form that it will not cause imbalances in the spirituality of the game, and in the lessons that sports teach to its players.
When winning becomes the only thing, the value of the individual in sports becomes variable and unpredictable. If an athlete wins in the sport, where wining is all that matters, he is praised, commended, and promoted within his specific sport. This means that the player is boosted to new heights in terms of valuation. On the other hand, if an athlete loses, he is devalued instantly. Criticism is laid upon the player while he may be judged upon by his opponent, his opponent’s fans, and his own fans. In all these manners, it becomes apparent that when winning becomes the only thing in sport, the value of sport itself is reduced while the game’s purpose and meaning is also lost. However, such changes in the game can be recharged if enough effort is put into the process. Also, the concept of winning can also be changed if the focus of the particular game in the sports shifts from focusing on winning to focusing on enjoying the gameplay, providing entertainment for the ans as well as for the players themselves, and by promoting team play in the game rather than solo performances.