“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein

The following post is inspired by a quote challenge on Julia’s Red Page blog found here. Basically, Julia gives the quote, her take on it, and freedom for other bloggers to do what they will with it. Thanks Julia. 

“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein

It has also been said, “It is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game,” but let’s not kid ourselves, most of us when we enter the arena we are hoping to come out victorious. In fact, if you don’t really show up and give it your best effort, where is the fun in that?

Let me say, that I am a very competitive person and in the past I have played cutthroat and that more times than not doesn’t make it fun. I have always done my best to know the rules and to play fair but perhaps just a little too aggressively. I had an AHA moment back in the late 90s, that woke me up when during a friendly game of cards, I told my opponent, “You’re dead.” Fortunately, I didn’t lose my friend but we did not finish the game. At first I was like, what did I do? what did I say? I was SO blind. That day, I saw that I needed to learn how to still be competitive but be gracious, be kind, and some people might even say, be nice. (I just don’t like that word, “nice” I equate it with not being genuine.)

Yesterday, I was on the golf course for a leisurely game and I was not doing very well on the front 9. I was frustrated with myself. Now, a “leisurely game” is for recreation but I still want to score well. In these kinds of situations it is important to enjoy being outdoors, the people you’re with, and the game you get to play. This is not competitive play but golfers are still expected to play by the rules and one of the most important things to do is to know and abide by golf etiquette. Not only does this help to have an enjoyable round with your foursome but for everyone else who is out there on the course when you are. Basically, golf etiquette is like being a good neighbor: show up on time, know the local rules, clean up after yourself, and play ready golf – don’t slow others down. There is a lot more to it but if you just do those things it helps to make things that much more enjoyable.

With golf, some say 90% of the game is mental. If you have read anything about golf you may be thinking “swing thoughts” or “envisioning your next shot” and those are very much part of the mentality of the game but I was thinking about attitude. On my front nine I was frustrated and I started getting discouraged. I had a very makeable shot for birdie on the fourth hole and not only did I miss the putt but I ended up with a bogey. The thoughts going through my head were not positive and I had no gratitude. The fifth hole was not only my worse scoring hole but my attitude stunk. I knew that I needed to turn it around otherwise there was no chance for improvement for my time on the course as well as my game.
So, I think it is safe to say, that if one plays by the rules, and wants to be able to play with others because games are more fun when you play with other people then it would be a good rule of thumb to be a good sport.

4 thoughts on “Everyone loves a “good sport”

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. I used to be the same way as a child. In fact, I was a very sore loser when I lost. I usually would separate myself from the group and be a loner after I lost (not gracious at all, I know.) However, I realized that being that way made it no fun in the end which is what I wanted in the first place. One has to be a “good sport” to ever get the most out of a sport/game. It teaches you to be happy when you win and grateful when you lose.
    I have never played golf in my life before. I would love to one day as it seems fun. And when I go to play, I will attempt to be a “good sport” when I’m playing. Lovely post. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Sportsmanship is quality every player should learn. I felt the same frustration when I played poorly in table tennis. I should try to shake hands after each match to remember to be a good sport.

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