This I Believe

David - Bartlett, Tennessee
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports
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I believe hot, summer weekends can build skills for the future. I believe Friday night lights can teach us how to accept one another. I believe participating in sports, in any way, shape, or form, can teach us how to trust and interact with one another so we will be better prepared for our future endeavors.

Seemingly my entire life has revolved around playing sports. Ever since I can remember I have been participating in some kind of athletic activity. And being the son of a high school football coach, I couldn’t help it. I am so thankful that my parents got me out of the house and involved because partaking in these various events has affected me in more capacity than any other event in my life.

The many diverse people I have encountered through athletics has changed my perspective on life. I have taken things I have learned from different races and people of different backgrounds than myself and incorporated them into the way I think and act. The interactions that I have with this array of people have taught me to appreciate what I have and how I am able to live. If I had not participated in sports, I would have never been able to see events from other people’s points of view. I would have never met some of my best friends, teammates, or coaches, all who have taught me more than I could ever learn in any classroom.

One of my best friends, a teammate of mine, is a prime example of someone I would have never met if it hadn’t been for sports. He is from a one mother, three sibling household and we couldn’t be more different, but he has changed the way I look at my own life through his actions. Throughout school, he could never get a break. But no matter how difficult it got for his family situation, grades, or injuries, he always had a smile on his face and always knew things were going to get better for him. His approach to life altered the way I perceive things now. No matter how bad it gets for me, someone always has it worse. I am a better person because of this.

Along with meeting people who you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to meet, playing a team sport builds social and teamwork skills as well. In today’s society more and more companies are having group meetings and group projects. The skills required for these types of activities can be learned on the field. In the workplace, one will encounter people of different ethnicities and races and therefore it is imperative that they learn to work together. Sports can teach you this. The skills required for a sports team to work together are the same for any type of team: Everyone must be in sync for the final product to be desirable.

I believe sports can teach us how to treat one another. I believe sports build character and social skills for the future. I believe sports can change other people’s lives as they have changed mine. Everyone says sports are a waste of time and school funding, but I disagree. The skills learned on a football field, a wrestling mat, or a tennis court can teach us more than a classroom can. They can teach us trust and understanding. They can teach us about acceptance and perseverance. They can teach us about life.