This I Believe

Robert - Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

Millions of kids play baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. Most of them play just for fun. They are, however, not aware that along with having a good time, they are learning life skills that will benefit them well into adulthood. Not only are kids healthier if they are involved in a sports, but they learn valuable lessons such as teamwork, communication, leadership, disciplined hard work and commitment – just to name a few. Team sports and the skills that kids learn from them are an integral part of growing up. For these reasons, I believe in the importance of team sports for kids.

Sports teach two essential skills for daily life; teamwork and communication. Being involved in a sport, a child must be able to work well with others in achieving a common goal, in spite of the different skill levels or commitment levels. A team, no matter how talented, will never achieve its potential until the members learn to work together. Players must also be able to express their needs and feelings easily, and learn to give helpful criticism to teammates. These teamwork and communication skills will carry over to school work and eventually the workplace.

Another vital skill that a team sport can teach is leadership. Many of our greatest leaders played sports and learned how to lead others as they matured. For example, John F. Kennedy was very much into football. He credited the sport with giving him the leadership skills that carried over into his presidency. Learning to lead others to achieve a common goal is one of the most common skills kids learn participating in team sports.

Sports also teach discipline and the rewards of hard work. At one point in my life, I was cut from a soccer team for which I really wanted to play. At first I was angry and wanted to give up. Suddenly though, I wanted to prove the coach wrong. That entire season while I was on the “B Team”, I pushed myself to achieve a skill level and work ethic I never thought I could achieve. I earned a spot the next year on the “A Team”, but more importantly, I learned that nothing great is ever achieved without disciplined hard work. No matter what their skill levels, kids will learn the rewards of hard work from sports.

Being a part of a team sport requires that a child be committed to that team. Other members of that team are relying on him to do what he is supposed to do, whether that is blocking opposing players or passing to a teammate. Once a player commits to being a part of a team, that team relies on him for the entire season. Despite the team not always being successful, giving your word to be a part of a team, and sticking things out, is important. The meaning of commitment will follow a person throughout his life.

Teamwork, communication, leadership skills, the value of hard work in order to succeed and commitment are just a few of the many life skills attained by being involved in team sports. Sports are so valuable in developing the traits of a well rounded person that no one should grow up without participating in at least one team sport. This, I believe.