I played basketball because I love the game. Little did I know that the lessons that I learned on the court would one day save my life. When I was twenty-four, I was nearly killed when the car I was riding in was hit by a train. Knowing how to work through challenges as an athlete helped me make it through the most difficult time in my life. Because of sports, I knew how to set goals, commit to physical therapy, handle stress, keep a positive attitude, believe in myself, and live.
What you learn on the court, rink, diamond, or whatever playing field you take when you participate in your sport, will be with you the rest of your life and shape the person you become.
You can define this as resilience or developing a never-give-up attitude. Your time playing sports will teach you to believe in yourself and understand that you are capable of more than you think you are. When you participate in sports you have setbacks and learn more about yourself. You lose games. You deal with injuries. You find that life is not always fair. But you also learn how to overcome these obstacles. This is a powerful lesson.
Set and Work Toward Goals
You overcome obstacles on the court, diamond, or sports field by setting goals and working toward them. You learn what steps to take and how to adjust along the way to reach your goals. When you lose a game, you and your team will work on drills in practice to improve. If you get injured, you will do physical therapy so that you can play again. Setting goals and working to reach them is part of life; it’s how you reach your dreams.
Commitment & Work Ethic
To reach your dreams, you have to work at it. You have to be committed to your goals and then work hard. When you put the time in and practice with intent, you will get stronger and better at your sport. Not always the best, but with hard work, you will get better than you were before, and that’s what matters. And with discipline, you will see results and get closer to achieving your goals. All the while, you’re also learning a good work ethic for life.
As much as sports can be fun, they can also be stressful. You may feel pressure to play at a higher level, have pressure from your parents, or tight games might stress you out. Whatever the case, sports are one place in your life where you will learn to deal with stress. You may learn how to handle stress simply by going through the experiences, but you may get some help from a coach along the way if you’re lucky. You may learn to have a pregame routine or pick up techniques like visualizing or meditation to help handle the pressure.
There are also other pressures when it comes to playing sports, which can be hard to handle. You have had bad calls against you or may not start when you feel like you should be. But when playing sports, you should learn to ignore the bad calls and treat the referees with respect and learn to support your teammates whether you’re starting or on the bench. And you know to shake your opponent’s hand no matter the outcome of the game. You know how to win or lose with class. You learn good sportsmanship.
The Importance of Teamwork
When you play sports, you learn to work with others; your teammates, your coaches, and even the officials. Great teams emphasize the importance of working together and trusting and respecting one another despite differences. Understanding what it takes to be a part of a team will help you work with others in jobs, groups, and committees throughout your lifetime.
Play because you love the sport, the competition, and the friendships that you build. The rest it just icing on the cake.