Sports can teach us many lessons

Published 5:46 pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

We often turn sports topics into water cooler debates where we discuss silly, often impossible to prove opinions comparing teams to one another or players from past decades.

Sports entertain us and give us something to talk about. But athletics also teaches us lessons we could never imagine.

Our youth usually first learn how to work together through sports. A team has its ups and downs, because it is impossible for every single player to be on top of his or her game every single time on the court or the field. But, a team would never work if everybody disagreed constantly. Somehow everyone has to get along through it all to be successful.

Email newsletter signup

We also often learn about disappointment first in sports. A lot of times a team can play as hard as it can and do everything it knows to do, but lose because it has less talent or because the ball bounced the wrong way.

I’ll never forget my eighth grade year playing basketball for my high school. We were basically all eighth graders, on the “B” team, and we really didn’t have a clue in the world as to what we were doing. Most of the teams we were playing were more experienced, because we didn’t have a middle school team, but eventually we started coming together and we found ourselves in a game.

Trailing by a bucket late in the fourth quarter, our coach designed the perfect play. The ball was thrown into me and something unbelievable happened. I froze up and travelled, costing us a chance to win the game.

I’d been watching sports all my life — dreaming about that moment — and I’d let my team down.

I was upset to say the least, so the next day I went to talk to my head basketball coach about it. I’ll never forget what he said.

“Daniel, we’ve got another game today so you’ve got to forget about that game. It’s a new day,” he said.

And the message stuck.

Sports teaches us that through hard times we have to get back up again. I’ve had a lot tougher days than traveling in a B-team basketball game during my eighth grade year, but it taught me a lot.

Our youth should all be involved in a sports team, club or organization that makes them work as a team and go through the ups and downs it provides. It’s just preparing them for real life, where every day is a roller coaster.

Sports are fun and exciting, but they teach many lessons too.