Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Good sport

Recently, a newer friend of mine came in town to visit. We had only really interacted online, so it was nice to see she had the same positive energy in person that she exuded through technology. At any rate, she came out to my fitness boot camp and I had her doing a few things that were a little out of her comfort zone. After the workout, I jokingly called her a good sport. It amused me for a couple of reasons: 1) Because good sportsmanship is usually a term reserved for kids who demonstrate prosocial skills and 2) Because another friend has been known to call her husband a good sport when he rides the waves of her emotional tides. I was being playful, but when you really think about what it means, I think we can all benefit from being good sports in life. Here are a few things adults can learn from this childhood concept of being a good sport.

They play well with others
This is key. People who relate well to others win in life. We all know back biting complainers. Most of the time we avoid them because no one wants to hang around negativity. Good sports, on the other hand, are warm, positive, and likeable. They can establish rapport quickly and relate to others genuinely. Because of those skills, these individuals tend to go far in life.

They laugh easily
Another thing about good sports is they are good-natured. Some of my favorite people in the world are the ones that don't take themselves too seriously. These people can find humor in themselves and most situations. In doing so, they help lighten other people up too. Good sports use humor wisely and seem to always know when it's the perfect way to break the ice.

They are open

The last thing I'll mention is that good sports are open. They don't put themselves or others in a box. They're willing to try new things, even if they are a little scary or uncomfortable. Because they have a healthy outlook on life, they have confidence to face challenges. The fear of failure doesn't keep them from trying. As a result, they usually succeed.

Ask yourself a few things. Are you the person people want on their team? Does your encouraging style make you a motivating leader? Do you bring out the best in others? Do you lighten the mood and maintain a positive atmosphere? Do you have a healthy hunger for adventure and the openness to try new things? Then, you might be a good sport. It's definitely something I aim to be and I'm so thankful for having so many wonderful examples of people who embody just that.

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