It’s easy to see in many shows that when it comes down to competition it’s the person that’s willing to step on or over people that tends to get ahead the quickest sometimes, but when you really look at it the winners that can hold their heads up the highest are those that show a great deal of sportsmanship. In some ways this seems almost like an outmoded concept among society at this point, but there are still plenty of people that happen to think that being a good sport no matter what kind of competition you’re in is extremely important. Win or lose it’s vital to be a good sport since by doing this you can be certain that people will look at you as a winner even if you’re not the last person standing. Being able to win or lose graciously is the mark of a person with a lot of character and someone that has the wisdom to understand that winning is great, but it’s not everything.
Here are a few shows on TV that have displayed a great sense of sportsmanship.
These first two are kind of good example of exceptional and poor sportsmanship since quite honestly they pull from a big pool of talent that includes those who know how to compete in a very friendly fashion as well as those who are all in and don’t care about anyone else. Chopped is an impressive show since each chef is there to do their absolute best and isn’t really encouraged to care about the others around them. But the best chefs, win or lose, are those that know how to work with others in the kitchen and also know how to wish their competitors well and walk out with their heads held high while being grateful for the chance to show what they can do.
You might be rolling your eyes at this one since there are a lot of competitors in the UFC that don’t seem to give much of a damn about each other. But all in all a lot of the fighters do at least show a great deal of respect towards their opponents since they all know what it takes to get into the octagon and impress Dana White. On top of that they all know that it could be over in a matter of seconds if they don’t perform or gain the approval of the crowd, so respect might be earned, but it’s also given in this hard-hitting sport since there’s no need to tear each other down when the margin for error is so slim.
3. RuPaul’s Drag Race
In any competition it’s important to at least have a healthy regard for your fellow competitors since they’ve worked hard to get to these competitions and have given up a lot in their life to make it possible. While you might not think this is a serious entry the idea of becoming a drag queen is a big decision for a lot of the contestants since it’s still not quite as accepted in some parts of the country as you might think. That’s why good sportsmanship is absolutely necessary in a competition such as this since if the contestants tear each other down they’re kind of showing that the criticisms levied against them by some folks have more influence than they’d care to admit.
2. Masterchef Jr.
Shows featuring kids or younger contestants are great since a lot of kids will go out of their way to help their competitors in the spirit of fairness. It’s true that not all kids will do this and some will do whatever it takes, short of cheating, to make sure that they outperform their competitors, but a lot will still do what it takes to help others achieve their goals. In this manner some of the kid-oriented shows are a little more heartwarming than the adult versions since the kids will in fact try to help others win even if they’re in direct competition.
1. American Ninja Warrior Jr.
You wouldn’t think that a show like this would foster good sportsmanship, but then again with kids it’s kind of important to teach them that while winning is great and worth attempting, it’s not the only thing in life that’s important. Respecting your opponent and showing the kind of respect that they’ve earned is also important and in many ways the kids seem to get this more than the adults at times. This show is obviously sized down to accommodate smaller bodies and the strength levels of kids, but it’s no less impressive since it pushes the kids in ways that a lot of people two or three times as old couldn’t possibly handle. But through it all they definitely learn how to respect their opponents.
Sometimes that’s all you need to do is show respect, as the rest takes care of itself.