August 9, 2009

Extreme Sportsmanship

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by lindaslongview

This past week, I was involved in a youth sports competition that fielded both domestic and international teams:  soccer, swimming, tennis, table tennis, dance, and much more.  Although my family lives in an outlying area to the main venue, we were eligible to host five (5) teenage boys for the week long games.
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I drove our SUV 840 miles and averaged 100 miles/gallon/person (50 gallons of gas with 6 of us in the car) for my two soccer players and three tennis players.  Altogether, we collected one injury (already healing), one gold medal, and many, many smiles!  It was a total blast!

It was an amazing and inspiring experience because the long view tenets: build reciprocity assets (goodwill) and create consistent positivity were incorporated everywhere.  The games emphasized sportsmanship, camaraderie, and kindness – everyone was encouraged to do more than what was expected.

There were so many examples….

  • Every day driving the SUV in the “big city” was an adventure – wrong turns, missed turns, and intersection errors.  The boys cut me a great deal of slack and were always kind. (We were never late or in danger.  ☺)
  • Daily breakfasts were greatly appreciated, as were cookies and milk each evening.  One of the things that struck me was that there was not a single complaint.  No whining, no negativity, just expressed gratefulness for all that I was doing.  There was a constant refrain of “thank you.”
  • The injured boy played only five (5) minutes of his first soccer match against Mexico and did not net any goals during the tournament due to his injury, yet his teammates rallied around him.  They carried his things, waited for him as he made his way on crutches with his knee immobilized, and ensured that he stayed integrated at the parties/festivities.  Reciprocally, even though he could not play he stayed involved and cheered heartily for his team.

Can it get any better than that?  Amazingly, yes!

  • At the gold medal match in tennis, my guest’s opponent arrived unprepared – he had not eaten lunch.  After the match had started, at one of the breaks, the opponent shared that he was hungry.  My guest immediately asked his own coach if any of their team’s turkey sandwiches were left.  Finding none available, he dug around his tennis bag for a nutrition bar that the opponent accepted.  The linesman went to the clubhouse for some fruit and everyone waited for the boy to ingest some calories before the game restarted.  In my book, that was extreme sportsmanship.  My other guest tennis players informed me that although they knew their friend wanted to win, he wanted more to play a good match.

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Can you encourage extreme positivity in your environment?