One of the few things that makes this world a better place (most of the time). Many would say that it is just like life. I don’t know about you, but I completely agree with this concept. As a newbie coach, I will attempt to enumerate the things I learned.
1. Sports is a journey.
Just like the great adventure of life, sports or competing in sports is a glorious (and often challenging) journey. Usually, we start as a beginner, working our asses off through training, studying, working with others, working alone, and continuously trying to improve. Basically, just like in life, we will never achieve our goals if we never get off the couch and work hard. In sports, the journey is simply about improving ourselves and improving with our teammates (unless you play individual sport), and reaching the top. Though reaching the top isn’t necessarily the end of the adventure, rather this is where we have to work even harder to remain on top; and of course, we also help others along the way.
2. It is a great teacher.
Life teaches us valuable lessons. Often times these lessons come after our mistakes and failures. We also learn from our failures in sports. It teaches us to pay more attention to details and to analyze every situation. By doing so, we learn what went right and what went wrong, and this will help and prepare us to minimize or avoid more screw ups. Failures in life makes us stronger as a person, and the same goes in sports. Our failures and defeats make us stronger and more competitive. It lets us experience the pain of losing which drives us to work harder, run faster, and be smarter in order to prevent more losses.
Besides the valuable life lessons, sports also teaches us other important traits like respect, compassion, dedication, and commitment. Being involved in sports develops within us the value of respect. Respect for the game, yourself, your coaches, teammates, opponents, and all people in general. Through respect, we also learn to become compassionate. Without compassion, we will fail to care for the well being of the team and the people who supports the team. Also through respect, we become more dedicated in giving our best all the time and to wholeheartedly commit ourselves to the become better individuals and better members of the team and of course as members of the society.
3. Sports reminds us that no man is an island.
Whether you play individual or team sports, everybody knows that you’ll never achieve success when you’re all alone. Even legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Young, and LeBron James never accomplished those awesome feats by themselves. They always had a lot of help from their coaching and training staff and teammates. Even Tiger Woods, Williams sisters, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Manny Pacquiao, Paeng Nepomuceno, and Roger Federer had help. This is the reason why I don’t believe the term “self made” millionaires/billionaires. Because I am confident that those people had at least a little bit of help from others as well.
4. It shows your character.
The struggles and achievements in life and sports will show a person’s character. How they will handle their ups and downs will tell people the kind of person they are. Sports teaches us to keep our heads high in defeat (especially when you worked really hard for it), and remain humble in our victories.
5. Sports develop trust and confidence.
In order to succeed in life, we must believe in our own abilities and also believe the capabilities of the people we are with. Lack of confidence will negatively affect our performance in the game and in life. If we can’t believe in ourselves, how can we expect others to believe in us? In our journey towards success, we can’t always take the winning shot. There will come a time when we must put our trust in our teammates, colleagues, relatives, or friends. Just like when MJ passed the ball to Steve Kerr, or when Kobe passed the ball to Ron Artest, it just showed how must trust they had in their companions. Because of this trust, they were able to make the winning basket. As the saying goes, there’s no “I” in team. These two great players showed the whole world that even the best players need to trust and believe in their teammates. This is why without confidence and trust, a player/team is going to fail.
6. It also gives us a chance for redemption.
One of the many important facts of life is that you won’t always win your battles. There will come a time when you’re going to lose or fail a few times. The same goes in sports; when you lose, it is certain that you will be given a chance to redeem yourself the next time around. I remember the time when the mighty team USA lost in the olympics. That loss just made them more competitive, and when they competed again in the following olympics, the “Redeem Team” made sure to take home the gold.
7. Sports is about being a good leader.
In sports, as well in life, there will come a time when you will be given the chance to lead. A good leader must be reliable and responsible. When the going gets tough, the team will count on you to lead the way. If they can’t rely on you, the team’s morale will most probably crumble and will result in a crushing defeat. Leadership is also about accountability. Should the team fail, a good leader should never play the blame game. Instead, an effective leader will take responsibility for the team’s failure.
8. It develops courage.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Rather, it is the ability to go forward despite being afraid. In sports, we sometimes feel fear when we are up against a much stronger opponent. By simply refusing to back down and trying your best against insurmountable odds, is what being courageous is all about. When countless troubles come our way, no matter how much we struggle, we must remember to never give up. Courage is the spark that will light the candle of hope. We must never forget that total defeat is inevitable when we lose the courage to keep on fighting.
Sorry if I’m going to stop at 8. I’m sure there are more, but I am simply running out of ideas, and the fact that I’m getting tired and sleepy. 😅