While it might be fun and cute watching kids run around a soccer field or do somersaults in gymnastics, sports – whether team or individual – teach kids lessons that stay with them for the rest of their lives. Whether it’s overcoming a loss, pushing through on the most difficult days, or receiving mentorship from a coach, sports play a pivotal role in a kid’s life. The skills developed are applicable even as adults. Here are some of the invaluable life lessons kids learn by participating in sports.
- Read this blog post if you’re specifically looking for life lessons from the football field!
What Sports Teach About Life
- Commitment: If you’re passionate and serious about playing a sport or pursuing something in life, you must commit to it. Whether you want to improve your game, get that promotion at work, or achieve another goal in life, you need to work on it and put in the time and effort.
- Working With Others: Sports take a team, and it’s important to know how to work with others to be at your top level of performance. Whether it’s other players, teammates, or coaches, working with others (especially with different personalities) is a skill you’ll have to practice for the rest of your life. Everyone brings different skills, talents, and strengths, but that doesn’t make any individual less valuable!
- Goal Setting: Writing down goals in sports – such as winning a certain number of games or achieving a specific score – is a skill you’ll use in all aspects of your life. Whether for personal or professional reasons, goal setting teaches you how to set benchmarks and develop a game plan to achieve your goals.
- Failure: Life isn’t fair. There are times when you’ll work hard and not achieve the result you were hoping to get. Maybe you put in the extra practice time or more time studying for a big exam and still didn’t win or do well. Learning how to lose and fail is just as important as learning how to win gracefully.
- Patience and Hard Work: Winning and achieving your goals doesn’t happen overnight – it takes hard work, patience, and dedication to win and succeed. Whether playing sports or going for that promotion at work, it’s key to be patient with yourself and others and remember that the finish line might not be where you expect it!
- Being a Leader…and a Follower: Whether you’re a natural-born leader or prefer to be a follower, you’ll have to learn to be both in the sports world and beyond. It’s important to know when to step up and take on more responsibility or when to take a step back and play a more supporting role. This is all about being a team player on and off the field!
- Sacrifices: Life isn’t always easy, and you’ll need to make choices that are going to be difficult. You might need to decide between doing extra practice or hanging out with friends during your sports season. Life is all about your choices, which routinely involves sacrificing time or event B so you can achieve or go to event A.
- Time Management: If you play sports, you’re already juggling a lot – practice, games, school, family time, social time, etc. It’s about learning to fit everything into 24 hours efficiently while not overexerting yourself or letting anyone down. This will continue to be a trend throughout your life as your priorities and responsibilities shift.
- Respect, Dignity, and Class: These three characteristics are some of the most important things you’ll learn through sports and take with you into adulthood. Learn to respect others, lose with dignity, and win with class.
- Actions have Consequences: As Newton said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” While he might have been referencing a moving object, this applies to all aspects of life. Choosing option A means NOT choosing option B – and that’s okay! But you’ll have to live with the consequences of not choosing option B. Whether in sports or with your responsibilities, take ownership of your decisions.
Playing sports is so much bigger than the game itself. The lessons taught and learned through team or individual sports will be carried throughout life.