By Rachel Comish
Sports are a great way to bring people together. I come from a basketball family. That may sound weird, but I honestly consider basketball a rite of passage in my family. It is not only our birthright-I’m the short one at 5’10-but our choice family activity.
But It wasn’t just basketball, I grew up going through a marathon of athletic training. I played basketball, soccer, volleyball, and track. Thankfully, not all at once.
Playing sports is not just about exercise. Sure, it’s great to be active and spend some time outside among other humans that don’t live inside your TV. But it’s more than just exercising.
When you play different sports, you are essentially playing games. Learning new rules and techniques for different games can improve your memory. That way, you can be better at learning in general and in other areas of your life.
Many sports involve teamwork. You learn to work with people and push yourself towards a common goal. Working with other people is necessary in the school and work environments, so it’s good to do it in a more relaxed setting like a pickup game of soccer at the park.
When playing sports, you have to push yourself. Yes, it’s fun and doesn’t have to be intense. But having someone, like a coach, to train you and push you to your limits teaches you to work harder. Your coach pushes you and believes in you, so you believe in yourself. Discovering that you are capable of more than you imagined can boost your confidence and give you the sense that you can accomplish difficult things.
Playing sports does not always mean winning. Sometimes, you lose. It can be a game, match, meet, whatever. It can even just be a set of weights that you can’t quite lift. You are not always going to be successful.
And you know what? That’s okay.
Yep. Failure is just fine. We learn from failure. We recover from mistakes and work harder to be better. We can’t always be the best, or even our own personal best, and that’s a hard lesson to digest. But learning that lesson while doing something you love is a lot better than learning it by failing a test.
Sports brings people together and gives them something in common. We connect easier with people who seem to have similar experience, like spending their weekends at track meets or finding the best hiking trails. It’s a fun way to make new friends and do something that you love.