Cindy Minor receiving the 2013 ASA Oklahoma Sportsmanship Award presented by her son Seth Minor.
Sportsmanship in relationship to archery is often misunderstood as being what you do for others or the sport. Sportsmanship is actually how you conduct yourself win or lose. It’s human nature to want to be the best and do things perfectly, so when the results are less than desired, people tend to get angry or upset. We’ve all experienced it, but we each handle it differently. If you’ve ever witnessed a poor sport, you know the person who throws a fit, throws their equipment, curses, etc,, how did it make you feel? I know personally, I felt embarrassed for them and those around the person, as well as irritated by their actions. Then I found myself wishing for the event to be over so I didn’t have to deal with the person any longer that day.
So the question becomes how do you prevent yourself from becoming this bad sport? Here’s how we handle it in my family. We have a simple rule: you are allowed 3 seconds to be silently irritated, then you must smile, be thankful, and shrug it off. Some might think “smile and be thankful?”…are you kidding? I just made a bad shot or lost the tournament and you want me to smile and be thankful?? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m asking. It’s a matter of putting things in prospective. There are so many other things in life that are much worse than having a bad shot, equipment breaking, or you placed poorly in a tournament; therefore, be thankful you have your health to be able to shoot or compete, be thankful you have a job so you are financially able to shoot or compete, be thankful of the friendships you have made through the sport of shooting, etc. The list is actually endless when you stop to ponder it. Makes you smile just thinking of all the wonderful positives shooting sports has brought to you doesn’t it?
Daughter Casie Minor with Son Seth Minor after receiving 2011 ASA National Sportsmanship Award
There’s more to being a good sport than just how you physically conduct yourself. It’s also how you mentally conduct yourself. So you had a bad shot, so what. There are some people that winning becomes everything and the little devil inside of them encourages them to secretly cheat. They convince themselves they won’t get caught. WRONG! There’s always at least one person, besides themselves, that knows they cheated. Even if the person consistently conducts themselves in a positive manner, this is still considered a poor sport. Why is it worth cheating? This is still a question I have, as I just don’t understand it. Why is it worth surrendering your personal morals to win that medal, trophy or money? Again, put it into perspective. Is a piece of metal on a ribbon or a trophy really worth giving up your good reputation? Is a few dollars really worth selling your soul? Have strength and confidence in yourself to overcome that little devil and take great pride in your decision to be an honest person with high morals. If you don’t, karma will likely attack when you least expect it.
Ultimately, being a good sport is keeping reality in perspective which allows you to 100% enjoy the sport in every facet, good or bad. So have fun…and be a good sport so everyone around you can also have a great time!