Yesterday I told you that two of the top five reasons why sports has such a strong effect on people is because: 1. It helps them live a heathy lifestyle and 2. It keeps a persons mind off of things that don’t matter in life.
Now here are my last 3 reasons why I believe sports (should) matter to all of us.
3. Builds relationships
Talk about having a family outside of your family, playing on an organized team throughout my life helped me turn strangers into brothers.
A whole new coaching staff was inserted into my high school’s football team going into my senior year. And with many Detroit Public School Districts shutting down that same summer, also meant there was going to be a whole new batch of players coming in as well.
In the past, majority of the players who made up the Hamtramck football team were African American and Arab. The problem here is that the African Americans and the Arabs who were around Hamtramck had an ongoing feud between one another which eventually lead to a numerous of racial fights.
So the first thing our coaching staff did was they made sure each player got to know one another. With the circumstances they were in, our coaches knew that was going to be a lot to ask for from their players. So they brought boxing gloves and said if anyone has a problem with one another they can handle their situation after practice. Our coaches decided to allow the players to fight one another because they knew that it would eventually bring us closer as a team.
Midway through the season, a huge fight erupted after school between the Arabs and African Americans. The same people who use to be the catalysts to these fights were the same people breaking up the fight up and making sure no one got hurt. Those same people I am referring to happened to be the players who were on that football team.
The battles we had together as a team helped us overcome the bigger battles we had outside of the football field, which happened to be among ourselves and the people of our own kind.
But that’s what sports does for someone; it helps you build relationships with people you never thought you would talk to ever in your life. The journey you go through with your teammates is similar to the journey you have with your siblings.
If you’re a veteran, you look over the younger ones, teaching them, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes you did. If you are new to the team, you respect the people who’ve been around longer, asking them questions, learning from them every chance you can get.
You laugh with one another, compete with one another, disagree with one another and eventually fight with one another; but at the end of the day, you know there is no one else in this world that you would rather have by your side than your brother, or your teammate in this case.
2. Teaches you life lessons
You ever wonder why a resume requires you to put down any extracurricular activities you ever took part in? It’s because being apart of some kind of organization, like for instance a sports team, indicates to recruiters that this person can work well with others.
I believe playing sports on an organized team defines the character of a person. If you happened to be the captain of your team, that means a person of higher rank has the trust in you to be a leader among all the people who surround you. Being the captain also means that you’re one of the hardest working players on your team, and that you take full ownership of the responsibility to not only make sure your job is being completed, but to also make sure your peers are doing that part as well.
Sports teaches you how to deal with adversity. Everybody wants to win, but that’s not how life goes. I started off my first three seasons of high school football with a 0-27 record. There were times where our team would lose games by a score of 63-0. Our football team was the laughing stalk of the league.
But what people didn’t realize is that, the more we got beat and the more people laughed at us, the more we grew stronger as individuals, mentally and physically. When your backs are against the ropes, that is when you learn the most about yourself. Those moments where I use to bounce right back up after I got hit by a lineman who was twice my size made me realize that I can get right back up anytime life tries to bring me down.
Even with the minor lessons in life, like respecting your elders or never quitting on something you started, through a firsthand experience, sports prepares you for the real world.
1. Forever lasting memories
If I wrote this article while I was in high school, this category would probably not be on this list because I was still apart of an organized team. But now that I have been out the game for a few years, I realized that the only thing I have left from playing sports are the memories that I can remember.
No matter what the case may be, every time I meet up with one of my old teammates, we always some how bring up a sports moment that we had together. Rather if the story is good or bad, funny or sad; we talk about those moments as if we were living through it one last time.
I realized that, certain plays that defined you as a player on your team during the moment, stick with you and forever defines you as a human being to your teammates for the rest of your life.
When some of the offensive linemen who blocked for me during high school see me at a neighborhood store or at a local gas station, before we even shake each others hands, they sarcastically stand in front of me and start pushing people away as if they’re still defending their quarterback. So I just play along and scramble right behind them.
No matter how much it bothers me to see some of my former teammates struggle to find food or a place stay during the night, I will always remember them as someone who understands what it takes to succeed in life.
In this life that we live in, the only thing that lasts forever are your memories. And I have to admit that, some of the best memories I have had in my life all had something to do with sports.
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