Are you a task-oriented or an ego-oriented athlete?
by M. Fekete Marcsi • Sep 25th, 2023

I dissect a topic that people don't dare to talk about, or talk about very little. How did I come up with the topic? The last time I experienced this was with the Kouty Ultra Beast.

There was a competitor who I left during the first pit stop, but he got to a far point earlier than me. There was no doubt that the person was cheating. It made me terribly angry. I later found out that the matter was finally confirmed and the person was expelled. Did it make me feel better? Yes, but I still have negative feelings towards this person.

And the question really started to concern me... Why do athletes cheat?

Of course, there is also a clear and short answer. The success.

Athletes are willing to cheat to guarantee success, either by using illegal performance enhancers or, in our case, cutting off the field with an improperly executed penalty. In other words, the person acts dishonestly in order to gain an advantage. But cheating for the best performance is against the spirit of the sport.

In today's modern times, the love and passion for sports has flourished. Cheating has clearly become a pervasive issue we deal with in sports. Or is this question more of a sociological problem that spills over into sports? It doesn't hurt to think about it either.

There are two types of athletes. Which one do you belong to?

One of the athletes is task-oriented, those who desire self-improvement, work very hard to get to where they want to be and are satisfied with their progress. They march up a long and hard way, sometimes they fall back down the stairs, but they don't give up, they get up again and march on. They value the rules and the performance achieved by following the rules more. They also know that they respect their competitors while competing, so if they cheated, they would be treating their opponents badly in a process that gave them all an equal chance.

In contrast, most cheaters are ego-oriented and have lower sportsmanship, which may predict lower moral functioning. In other words, not only in sports, but also in other areas of life, their moral level is not high. Worryingly, cheaters generally do not feel guilty after engaging in unethical behavior. Those who make it a habit to cheat because they got away with it and got an advantage in the past, show less and less conscience or guilt, and all this can strengthen the sociopathic side of the person. It warns of the development of a person who does bad things and does not feel remorse, guilt, shame or empathy for his actions. Another sad thing is that these people have a lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem and this can lead to cheating.

Athletes who cheat are not pushing themselves to succeed. Because of this, the competitor loses the respect and recognition he had until then, and he will not be an incentive for others, since this black spot will accompany him for the rest of his life. In addition, we must realize that not only the person himself, but also the reputation of the sport is deteriorating. If you cheat, you are ultimately sabotaging yourself and becoming less of a valuable, viable competitor. Karma is a boomerang and the long-term shame and worry of cheating ultimately negates the short-term gains of winning.

In many cases, you hear that a competitor is cheating because others are doing it, without having to face any consequences. All this creates the perception that cheating is socially acceptable.

But this is not so!

It is about developing sportsmanlike behavior and mindset, character, resilience and close human bonds. It's not about how many trophies or gold medals you get, or whether you finish 3 minutes early. It's really about how you push through the course and what you learn along the way.

Cheating can be a slippery slope, but there are ways to curb it! Take action against him too! Play sports and play fair! This will reward you in the long run and make you a happier person.

fair play

M. Fekete Marcsi Spartan Brand Ambassador Hungary

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