There is a question asked that what exactly is cheating and is different from gamesmanship or not? Can we use the rules to our advantage during a sports match?
This question simply means that what is the limit and line that should not be crossed. What exactly is it that should be kept within the limits of the game and should not get outside its spirits. Is it that we should say one is fine and the other one is not?
Various high-profile people such as top coaches and educated people were asked this question. A lot of them gave different responses, but on average, most of the answers were in between the two scenarios.
It is because of the culture of winning and achieving materialistic things that force sportsmen athletes to indulge in cheating and get things done the wrong way. In addition to this, with regards to youth sports, using players that are overage, getting drugs to increase the performance, and injuring other players forcefully and deliberately is extremely wrong and must not be tolerated at any cost! We as adults, coaches, and parents must stop this to happen. We need to resist the cheating from taking place and must stop our kids from doing so, rather than encouraging them.
However, there are still people who tell that cheating is wrong but still allow players to exploit certain weak points in order to gain an advantage in a particular game. This is called the grey area. The area between the two statements mentioned above.
There are various questions you must ask yourself if you are a coach or a parent. Following are a few of them:
Q.1: What is the Purpose of Youth Sports?
This is the question that you must ask yourself if you are a coach. If you want your players to reach the higher and bigger levels in sports such as the professional level, then you must follow whatever you want with regards to the illegal manipulation of the rules. However, if you want your players to learn about the values and want to prepare them for their sports life and the life after the sports, then it is not acceptable and must not be tolerated at any cost. This is because cheating and manipulating the rules may harm the life of children in the future. They will follow illegal ways in their lives as well. You, as a coach, must teach your players to show honesty if you want them to learn the core values and character.
However, what if any coach wants to follow both approaches? Let’s check that out in our second question.
Q.2: How much are you willing to devalue your success by cutting corners to win?
Well, when players or even the coaches focus on bending the rules and use illegal ways to win, they can not focus on the fundamentals of the game. A coach can not teach their young players about ethics if he/she allows them to cheat during the game and exploit the rules in the wrong way.
Undoubtedly, sports are an excellent way to teach kids about values and character. However, it also makes kids more vulnerable to cheating and learning wrong ways to achieve success in the game. For them, it is all about winning and not showing character and sportsmanship.
It is quite difficult to identify the way and grey areas between the two approaches. Now, it depends upon the parents and the coaches as to how they teach their children about the sports. They can teach them both and then allow them to follow what seems better.