Home Field Advantage: Personal Growth Through Sports
“Leave it all on the field” need not apply when it comes to the personality and character building benefits of playing team sports. Playing sports fosters much more than physiological benefits, but psychological and personal growth gained through the game are lessons we take with us passed the ballfield and into the boardroom when the stakes are much higher than a pizza and ice cream party.
People across every nation love sport, its values are universally well received by the global community. Sports can bridge social and cultural divides and can be used as a powerful tool for learning understanding, tolerance, and peace. Life lessons that are we learn in playing sports can’t be taught by a parent or mentor. We have to experience them ourselves. Through sports, we learn how to fight our fears and work through nerves – this steadiness comes in handy later in life. From practice to game day, we learn what it’s like to put in an incredible amount of effort, and things do not entirely turn out the way we hoped. Likewise, we learn what it feels like to put in the same effort – and celebrate victory!
Teamwork is a learned trait that begins on the field and carries throughout our lives. The symphonic way each player communicates with one another in a sport prepares oneself for not only the next game but for more challenging roles in adulthood. In any team situation, we learn through experience the strengths and weaknesses of not only ourselves but our teammates as well. Not everyone on a team is good at everything, but everyone has something to contribute to the game. In business, it works the same way. Both in childhood and adulthood, these realizations shape a cooperation bond between all involved to achieve the ultimate goal: success.
Being part of a team sport is a learning experience in itself. Starting from a young age, our children can equip themselves for working towards a common goal with their teammates, developing leadership qualities, and understanding the nuances of failure and how to improve and move forward. Sport teaches us that the process is more important than the result and the fosters respect that follows good sportsmanship.
Through sport, discipline, commitment, and physical confidence develop at an accelerated rate. Sports provide the tools we need to build skills that make a difference later in life. Whether leadership or fellowship, these roles teach us dedication and how to get along with others. These lessons extend beyond the ballfield and help shape who we grow up to be.