|Sports and American Values
Zeyu Xu (Ted)
ESL 100 D/E
In some important American values, hard work, self-reliance, equality, freedom, individualism, and democracy, there were the main traditional values for Americans. Time is changing, and values have also been changed. Now, equality, hard word, and competition might be the most important values in recent American life. Especially, in sports, these three values clearly reflect that everyone has to abide by them. Therefore, learning how to become more equitable and hardworking, how to win in sports is necessary.
First of all, Americans are value importance to sports. People like to play sports and the government also encourages people to play sports. Because it promotes healthy lifestyle and everyone want to have a strong physique. Three most popular organized sports in America are: “American football, basketball and baseball.” (Maryanne Kearny Datesman, American Ways, 232) More and more people like to watch games on TV or go to park to feel the enthusiasm and atmosphere of sports. The reason is that sports encourage people to get excited about the games. People like watching sports not only it are exciting, but also it reflects American values in games. In every sport games, the most common one is that equality.
In the United States, the equality is a wonderful value that everyone should have. “All men are created equal” is one of the most famous points from the Declaration of Independence. It is under the control of American law which protects everyone equally no matter one’s race, sex, or religion in a sport. Therefore, people should not discriminate anyone when they play sports. For example, the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) is a group which is all women to play basketball, it could not happen in the past America. Modern America has a very equal and peaceful environment for every athlete.
In sports, people are totally different, they come from different country and speak different language, they have different complexion and gender, and they have different background. In sports, they get an equal chance, no matter whom they are or where they come from. American women can play any sports they want to play in everywhere. Moreover, the Olympics is also the best example that showed how equality reflect in sports. Especially for American women, they have won gold medals for several team sports such as softball, basketball, and soccer. However, equality is not the only value that people need, hard work is another important value which helps people to achieve their goals.
“Hard work is often called never quitting in the sports world.”(Datesman, American Ways, 232) Not everything in life is free, just like a gold medal. Athletes need to work harder and harder in their daily training, so they have chance to get close to their target and achieve what they want. Everyone should compete with themselves as well as others, to never stop making progress and continue to improve themselves. Everything is not easy in life, people could not just wait for achieve, people should struggle for their own goal and to complete their own dreams. For example, Kobe Bryant is one of the basketball players in the NBA, but nobody knows how much time he spends in daily training, and nobody knows what he did when others were sleeping. He got up at 4 am every day and started to practice, thousand times of shooting training and hundred times of physical training every day. Then he got what he wanted to achieve. However, hard work is not enough for a person to get success; competition is the next step that every athlete should know.
Competition is another important value for American people, “many coaches still share the winning is the only thing philosophy.” (Datesman, American Ways, 233) Everything should be competed in their life. Competitions provide excellent motivation for not losing, athletes know they must use their body to beat others to achieve gold medal. People need to know what competition is, and then start to improve themselves and achieve more. Life is full of situations where there are winners and losers, winners must work harder than others, that is the reason he became winner but loser. On the other hand, competition can also bring violence in sports. “Both coaches seemed to share the view that if occasional fights with opposing teams helped to increase the winning spirit of their players, so much the better.” (Datesman, American Ways, 234) This is the negative side of competition that every athlete should avoid. All in all, competition is one obbligato part that athlete who wants to be the winner.
In conclusion, American values have changed a lot than before, it appears obviously in sports. Likewise, in order to understand Americans well, people should blend in their group and talk with them, or play sports games with Americans. Every Americans are different, but they almost have same values when they play sports. In order to be a winner in a sport game, learning about equality, hard work, and competition is the first step for every athlete.