I can’t even begin to tell you how important playing sports in my youth was to the development of the person I am today both personally and professionally, but I’ll do my best.
You see, sports creates a unique opportunity for children of all ages to feel part of a community, that community being the participants of that sport. Community is essential to creating lasting benefits in positive socialism, building friendships, and respecting elders or others in charge (coaches). The friendships that I built and still remain strong are those that I played sports with beginning with Little League baseball, soccer, Pop Warner football, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball and swimming. Yes, I did play all those sports and was part of a team, for better or worse for each them.
Which leads to the next benefit, sport creates opportunity to explore ones likes or dislikes by participating in a variety of sports. The multi-sport athlete is a benefit for a variety of reasons, but one is that you get to try everything. Sometimes hidden talents may emerge when you try something new. So go out and try all the sports you can. But I have one rule to that, “Don’t quit any of them if you committed, even if you don’t like it.” You must finish out the season because once you quit at one sport, you’ll likely to quit at another or become a quitter in life.
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Another outstanding benefit of partsicpiating in sports is that you learn to win and lose, which is a part of life. In my opinion not everyone is a winner like some programs advocate. You have to earn your stars to be a winner and you can do that on a sport team. It takes the same type of discipline, commitment, sacrifice and focus that you’ll need in life to be successful. And losing is hard to swallow, and also is a part of life. The sooner you learn to lose, the sooner you’ll build the confidence to deal with it and move on.
And finally, and probably the most important benefit of playing sports, It’s Fun! You bet it is. Running, jumping, throwing, passing, catching, falling, hitting, tackling, punching, and swimming are all natural to our human make up. We were meant to do all these things for survival thousands of years ago. So if you don’t play sports these ingrained genetic dispositions become dormant or lazy. That laziness can lead to obesity, metabolic disease, hypertension, poor motor skills that are required to age gracefully.
The benefits go on and on! So if you or kids don’t think playing a sport is beneficial for life, think again and get them on the playing field for “game of life“!
Steve Jordan is a nationally renowned personal trainer, health expert, and motivational speaker. You can learn more about his remarkable work at SteveJordan.com.
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