This I Believe

Nicole - Biloxi, Mississippi
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe sports build character. Starting at the age of five, my parents began to involve me in sports, so I could make friends, have fun and just enjoy my childhood. At first, I was apprehensive toward walking into something unknown to me. I was scared to meet new friends, play sports I never played before, and most of all, I was scared of the change it may bring to the short life I had been conformed to so far. As I began to grow older and really take a look around at how far I had come from being that scared, innocent child, I realized playing sports really meant so much more to me than just that.

For over fourteen years, I played just about every sport for fun, but I played softball and soccer competitively while in school. I began to notice such a change in me, and it was not just because I was growing bigger or getting older. I would breath, eat, and sleep the sports I played. I noticed walking on the softball and soccer fields in a uniform was a privilege I earned from hard work and dedication and not just a right I had. I began to realize sports really shaped the person I am today. I came from being an immature, selfish, rude child, to a more mature, mentally strong adult with goals and a positive outlook on life. I learned to work much better with others around me, and I was able to realize I could be dependent toward my teammates and not always be the leader of the crowd. Being given sports schedules gave me a responsibility to know where I had to be and what time I had to be there. Communicating with the other athletes and coaches helped me become more welcoming toward people I normally would not talk to.

Looking back on when I was younger, sports for me really only meant being a kid, having fun, and not worrying about who won or lost. Today, at the age of eighteen, I now realize that playing sports was much more than that to me. Softball and soccer were not just games for me to play competitively or as past times, but they were, in a sense, positive roads to a successful life. Playing these games taught me to be responsible, have respect, work well with others, be positive, and steer clear of all the negative aspects in life. I can truly say I believe sports build character.