Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Return of Sportsmanship: One Child at a Time

In today's sports environment where a lack of sportsmanship is seen throughout all the major sports, one person is trying to instill the concept of sportsmanship to children. As is often seen on avenues such as Sportscenter, athletes run around glaring and leering over opponents on dunks and sacks. Players come up with ridiculous dances to celebrate homeruns often doing so when the team is behind or woefully ahead. We also hear of those athletes who unless motivated by the lure of new contracts just dogging it on the court, the field and the diamond. Now, if these athletes were doing these things in an isolated bubble then their effect would not be felt. But since these actions are played and replayed not only on TV but also on the internet over and over again, there is one segment of the population that is deeply influenced by what they see: Children. The kids see their idols acting a certain way and as we all have done at one time or another, they emulate what they see thinking that it is the right way to act not realizing that in doing so they not only disrespect themselves, but they disrespect their opponent and the game. Here is one person's attempt to change that.

My friend Daniel Demers is currently basing his philosophy for the good sportsmanship of his son's little league team on the Navy SEAL's Creed. But enough of me rambling on, read what Daniel has to say in his own words:

I'm coaching Sol's Little League team this year and I am trying push the concept of good sportsmanship as hard as I can. I asked the kids to come up with a team name. Since our color is navy blue one kid suggested Navy SEAL's, the other kids protested the idea of being called seals until it was explained that the SEAL's are an elite fighting force. Needless to say thay jumped all over the idea. To help cement the idea I adapted the Navy SEAL creed to baseball terms.

In times of baseball there is a special breed of player ready to answer our team’s call, a common team with an uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by good sportsmanship, we stand alongside America’s finest Little League teams to play baseball, the American pastime, and protect the honor of the game. We are that team.

My bat and glove are symbols of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, they embody the trust of those I play alongside of. By picking up the bat and glove I accept the responsibility of my position on the team. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to League and team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow players always ready to defend the honor and integrity of the game. I voluntarily accept the team first concept, placing the goals of the team before my own.

I act with honor on and off the baseball field. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other players. I am humble in victory and gracious in defeat. I do not engage in “trash talking”, my bat and glove will say all I need. When the time arises I will take charge and lead my teammates by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My team expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my opponents. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to give my teammates 100%. I am never out of the game.

We play with discipline. We expect cooperation. The goals of my teammates and the success of our team depend on teamwork. I practice hard to sharpen my defensive skills, offensive proficiency, and attention to the ball. My training is never complete.

We train to play and play for fun. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of my ability to the field in order to achieve the goals established by my coach. The execution of my abilities will be swift when required yet guided by the very principles that I play to defend.

Honorable players have won and lost building the proud tradition and famed reputation that I am bound to uphold. When I step onto the baseball field, the legacy of past Little Leaguer’s steadies my resolve and silently guides my every play. No matter what the score I am victorious when I play with love for the game. Baseball is my game and I play with heart.


I 'll try to keep you good folks posted on the progress of Daniel's charges in their upcoming season. For those of you who can spread the word, please do so. Children need to know that sportsmanship and respect is not only valuable on the field of play but also throughout life. How can someone respect themselves if they do not respect others. What do you think.


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