Most of use, assume that competitive sports teach all sorts of lessons, and games by definition must produce a winner and a loser. All games involve achieving a goal despite the presence of an obstacle.
Not a single one of the advantages to sports actually require competition. Running, climbing, biking, and aerobics- all of which give you a great workout without the competition.
From the time we first enter sports children learn to envy winners and dismiss losers. Competition causes it to be difficult to regard others as friends, because even if you aren't a rival today you maybe tomorrow.
I'm not saying all competitors aren't friends because I would be lying. It is kind of hard to trust one who's success is based on your failure. Could you imagine trying to play tennis without trying to make you opponent try to miss and fail.
No matter the outcome of the game we tend to blame others for failure instead of focusing on the positives of the event.
All in all "Sportsmanship" is a way to try and limit the damage caused from competition.
The problem isn't that we compete the wrong way or we push children on to winning and only winning to early, it is competition itself.
What we need to tell children is that they are capable of having a good time-a better time- instead of creating a battlefield instead of a ball field.
This article is for all of those people who have finished second(or as Ricky Bobby once said "If you aren't first, your last").
Don't let a loss cause you to become a bad competitor, because the real winners are the ones who have fun while competing.