4 Reasons to Love Sports
Like many, I remember laying on the living room floor as a kid watching the Olympics night after night with great anticipation. As a family, we cheered, cried and yelled at the TV from time to time. My favorite of the summer events are Gymnastics, swimming and synchronized swimming.
My mom found a local synchronized swimming team in Tampa, FL when I was about ten years old and finally my love of dance and swimming came together. The sport is now called Artistic Swimming. I swam through high school and after graduation moved across the country to compete for a world renowned team. While it wasn’t the Olympics, I did represent the U.S. at the world level in Rome, Italy. Not a bad destination for a competition! We placed second and I’m sure I will always remember the experience.
Here are some of the things I love about team sports (and sports in general) that have helped shape the person I am today:
1. Work Ethic
There was no improvement or “gain” without sacrifice and hard work. I still remember when friends would have sleep overs or go to a movie on Friday night and I stayed home in order to go to bed early for Saturday morning practice. I made many sacrifices over the course of my swimming career but really, they were all teaching me how to prioritize.
Artistic Swimming is an incredibly challenging sport and you have to be in close communication with your teammates or you will not be in sync. At times, we needed to encourage one another, or allow another teammate to encourage us so we could work together to do the best job possible. We didn’t want to let each other down and that was a strong motivator to keep at something until you got it.
Being resolute is a character trait that embodies sports and applies to so many areas of life. You cannot get very far in any endeavor without a fair amount of determination. Especially in scenarios where you might be the underdog or the one going against the odds. Fighting to improve or fighting to succeed grow good character qualities and then you get to discuss how to keep balance between success and doing your best, and also how to deal with the inevitable disappointments that accompany any sport.
I was very shy growing up. Competing in a team sport that required some showmanship and performance, helped me come out of my shell in various ways. It was not always comfortable and that can be a good thing. Confidence grew as I got used to the challenges and found that I could compete!
Whatever is available in your area to participate in, consider sports an opportunity for development and growth. Perhaps watching and learning about the Olympic Games will be a catalyst for inspiration. Don't miss our four week study leading up to the games that will get the whole family ready for Tokyo!