Many sports professionals are greatly admired internationally and influence, not just for the way they perform, but we also follow their politics, fashion and attitude, amongst others. Many parents often tell me that they wish to have their children play a particular sport, and a number will often hope that, in the near future, their child will become a star, and make millions. Its great to have a dream for your child’s future in sport, and perhaps that dream can come true.
Why play sport at all? Sports mimic a lot of what happens in real life, at work, and in the Board Room. It’s a great preparation for what you face constantly as you journey through life.
Why would participating in a sport be so valuable for you? Here are three life-appreciating values that make a real difference:
Realization of Self
Playing sports helps you understand yourself. You begin to recognize your strengths and weaknesses through physical, social and mental realization. Learning to take responsibility for your actions can be a painful but necessary part of life, especially when you lose. You become creative to circumvent any physical or mental weakness, or take advantage of any opportunity to move ahead. You get to celebrate the joy of winning, understanding that there is always the need to keep growing to sustain this through disciplined effort.
Relate To And Respect Others
Sports will help you relate to others. You learn how to give and take, how to negotiate, how to be part of a team. You learn to accept and play your assigned role, understanding that everyone in the team is important for success. You put your differences aside in order to cooperate to win or reach a target together with your teammates. You gain lifetime friendships through being part of a team, where you compete for something together, listen and encourage each other, and learn to channel your combined energies in one direction to improve performance.
Pure Healthy Enjoyment
At the end of the day, sport makes you healthier, sparking every part of your body to action, almost like greasing a machine to perform at its best. When you exercise, you are ensuring cardiovascular health, and improving your mood. It’s a great cure for stress and depression and keeps many infectious diseases at bay. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Success in sports and life starts with stepping onto the first few rungs of a ladder, and having the support and spirit to keep climbing. Tactics and style may change as you climb, but one thing stays the same: the love and interest in what you do, in order to reach the top rung and achieve your goal.
Liz Odera is Author of Sports for Life (Amazon)