By Jason Tribbet
MMI Athletic Director
If you enjoy playing sports as much as I do, then I don’t need to tell you why playing sports will benefit you not only now but the rest of your life.
I have sports to thank for some of the best memories I have growing up. Playing catch with my dad in the backyard, playing football on a cool fall day with my friends, or just catching up with friends who I met while playing college baseball … those are just a few of the fond memories that I have because I played sports growing up.
Not everyone is the next LeBron James, Derek Jeter, or Peyton Manning, and that’s OK. You don’t have to be a star athlete to enjoy sports and reap the benefits that come along with playing. The benefits that come along with participating in sports will not just be felt immediately, but can last the rest of your life. They can help shape you into the person that you will become and provide a foundation that helps lead you into success in both college and a career.
So if you’re scratching your head and asking yourself how can sports possibly help with your life, here are five reasons I believe sports will make you a better person and help you in your future endeavors:
- Sports and physical activity help relieve stress and reduce depression and can lead to a healthy lifestyle. We all have stress in our life at some point or another. Whether it’s the test you are cramming for or the job interview that you are preparing for, physical activity will help calm your nerves and help you focus on the task in hand. And if you are healthy, you are happier and can accomplish more.
- Playing sports provides the structure that can help you build solid habits. These habits include setting goals and objectives and then working hard to accomplish them. If I were an employer, that sounds like a quality I would look for in an employee or if I were a college deciding between two applicants with similar grades, I’d choose someone who is goal-oriented.
- Teamwork and leadership. These are two more qualities that I would look for if I ran a company and was looking for a manager or supervisor. Sports provide an excellent opportunity for kids to work together and step up to a challenge. Whether it’s working together to win the game or working together to complete a project before the deadline, the foundation of these two qualities will grow on the playing field and only get stronger as you get older.
- Sportsmanship and ethics. Sports will teach you how to be a humble winner and gracious in defeat. It can help you learn from your defeats and not rest on your laurels when winning. And most importantly, it will teach you how to do it the right way no matter how important winning seems at times.
- Playing sports is fun! You make friends and it provides positive self-esteem. Sports provide an outlet. Life gets serious and sports provide a way to step out of reality for an hour or two. Plus, what better way to make friends, enjoy your free time from your busy schedule, and feel good about yourself?
I grew up playing sports and not much has changed in my adult life. Whether it’s going for a jog, playing a round of golf, or joining a pickup basketball game, I enjoy being active and involved. I still use things I learned on the field in my everyday life. I recall situations and how I reacted and use the scenarios to tackle my new problems. The character that can be developed on the field or on the court is something that you will take with you forever.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” – Coach John Wooden (UCLA Basketball Coach)