Smiling Helps You Win In Sport and in Life

Why Does Everyone Love The Smiling Nicola Adams?

Apart from formerly working on construction sites and as a tea lady behind the scenes on UK TV’s Coronation Street,  she is Britain’s only boxer to have retained a gold medal in consecutive Olympics. That is a very good reason in itself. But there is something else magical about her. It’s that smile. It’s infectious.

Nicola Adams and her wonderful smile
Nicola Adams and her wonderful smile


Greatest Long Distance Runner Always Smiled

A smile adds value to an athlete. People remember stars that smile more than stars that don’t! Here’s Elizabeth Egan,  former head of High Performance Sport, University of East London (and author of  Altitude Training Travel Guide) talking about how a smile adds value to an athlete’s worth.  “It’s interesting the power of a smile & personalities in sport. ……. but if you ask the general public ‘who is the greatest distance runner of all time?’ they will probably say Haile Gebrselassie  despite the fact that he has lost all 3 of his world records, two of them to his fellow countryman  Kenenisa Bekele”.   Gebrselassie  always had a  big smile. Everybody loved him. Everybody remembers him (partly because of his wonderful smile – it’s infectious!).

Elizabeth Egan

Brazil’s Greatest Footballer Always Smiles  

Ask who was Brazil’s greatest footballer ever and most people will say Pele but in fact, Brazilians will tell you it was Garrincha. But he didn’t have Pele’s smile & friendly style. People remember Pele. Here is that beautiful photograph of Pele and England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore smiling as friends, after their epic 1970 battle. It is such a great photograph, I put it on the cover of my sportsmanship book (the last image at the bottom of the cover). People remember the smile.

Pele and Bobby Moore embrace and smile as life-long friends
Pele and Bobby Moore (the last photograph) embrace and smile as life-long friends



New Snooker Superstar Plays With A Smile On His Face

Meet Sunny Akino from Thailand. Just 22 years old and he gave the most fantastic snooker performance seen in years, two weeks ago against his hero, the 5 times world champion, 44 year old Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan.  Read the full story here. Sunny continuously smiled and thanked Ronnie for the game and Ronnie (smiling too) says all of Britain loves Sunny because, on top of being a world class snooker player, ‘he played with a smile on his face’.


Watch this wonderful post-match interview


Try To Smile As Much As You Can

They used to give medals for poetry in the Olympics. The last gold medal for poetry was awarded in London 1948 Olympic Games.  Here is a 60 second poem about smiling. It should be read out at all games and remembered throughout your life. Try to remember this invaluable little poem about smiling, narrated by Malcolm Weaving, from the Campaign For Courtesy.

Malcolm Weaving

So there, you have it. A lifetime Tip – use your smile. It’s an international language and will help you to get more things done, make more friends and oil the wheels of life.  We don’t know who wrote this poem. If you do – please tell us. Or also tell us how a smile helped you – we’d love to hear your story. Note watch out for Malcolm saying a smiling is infectious.

It really is.

Try it.



If you like this poem, you might also like this other, even shorter,  poem about sportsmanship. It is visually beautiful with amazing ornate graphics & makes a great Christmas gift or birthday present if you print it and frame it. We don’t know who wrote that poem either and have a 10 year ongoing discussion about it. Let us know if you know.

PS If you like this post, you might also enjoy The 2017 Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments

You might also like the other poem about sportsmanship

or How Sportsmanship Can Save The World – my TEDx Talk

4 thoughts on “Smiling Helps You Win In Sport and in Life”

  1. Former Irish and Lions rugby fly half hero, Ollie Campbell, just told me that The Smile Poem is absolutely fantastic. Every school should hear this every day!”

    Ollie went on to tell me that, in his familiy’s house, “If the children can’t recite The Smiling Poem over Christmas they won’t be getting any presents!!!!!!!!”

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