Compassion: Sympathetic to others’ distress and a desire to alleviate it
Does compassion fit within competition?
Should it be a held trait within the individual athlete, yet set aside during competition?
Should sports programs instill compassion among athletes, or leave it as a personal choice?
Is it wrong to tell an athlete to have or not have compassion for their competitor?
Lastly, does compassion stifle competitiveness?
Yes. To all those questions, and others regarding the presence or non-presence of compassion with sports.
Think of it this way…athletes, teams and sports programs research, buy into and carry-out myriad training routines. Each with the belief that this or that specific regimen will be the game changer. Sometimes it’s an individual choice, other times it’s mandated by leadership. However, at the end of the day, training is expected and it gets done.
Compassion is similar, but on a more personal level. Compassion is needed within society. An example could be an individual or had compassion to fund a new facility. Or, an experienced and successful coach returned from retirement to coach a failing team. Or, an administrator or program leader decides to give a troubled athlete one more opportunity.
Yes, compassion belongs in sports. The true debate only rages when deciding when, what areas and by whom. A personal preference, but a needed presence.