I have always had an appreciation for sports but my appreciation has definitely grown the older I've gotten. I've grown so much as a person from playing tennis. Not only have I gained more confidence, but I've always truly learned what it means to work hard for something. Many people say that sports aren't for everyone but I couldn't disagree more. There are so many different sports out there that everyone is bound to find at least one they like.

1. It is great exercise.

Going to the gym is something that I've had to do now that I'm in college because it's a little difficult to just find someone to play tennis with whenever I want. Most of the time, the gym feels like a chore. It's something I feel like I have to do in order to get some exercise in. When I play tennis, it doesn't feel like a chore. It's something I do that is for pure enjoyment which happens to include the benefit of getting exercise. Luckily, there are many clubs and leagues for college students that aren't trying to become pro athletes, allowing them to still play the sport they love.

2. It shows you that no one is perfect. 

I am a total perfectionist but this is something that took me a while to realize. When it comes to sports, no one is perfect. Even the best athletes make mistakes. Making mistakes is one of the most important things in sports. If you don't make mistakes, how are you supposed to learn and improve?

3. Your hard work really does pay off.

I am not naturally athletic. I can't just pick up any sport and automatically be great at it. When I started tennis, I wasn't very good. I've gone through phases when I've become more involved in other clubs, which has lead to a decrease in playing, while the kids that I've been playing with for many years have been playing much more. Because of this, I wasn't exactly improving as much as they had been. This resulted in me feeling like I was the worst one there. Then, one summer, I had nothing else to do so I continued to play much more than I had in the past. By the time I had tried out for my high school's tennis team, I had improved so much that I was ranked number four out of eight. Getting to this point was one of the greatest feelings I've ever felt.

4. It helps you relieve the stress from school.

School takes so much energy out of all of us. There is so much pressure to do well and achieve an A. When you're playing a sport you can let everything out. You're allowed to fail. You're allowed to let out your frustrations. You're allowed to be as crazy as you want.

5. You get to make friends with people you probably wouldn't have talked to.

I have so many examples of this. Here are just a few: I've been playing tennis in this one neighborhood across from my own yet none of the kids I played with attended my high school, majority of the kids I was on my high school tennis team with I had never talked to, and none of the people that I have played within the Florida State Tennis club are in my sorority. It's so refreshing to meet other people outside of your circle who don't know you in the same way your closest friends do.

There are so many more benefits to playing a sport than the ones I just listed. If there's a sport you've wanting to try, do it. It's never to late start, and because of its popularity, there will always be people around to play with you or teach you.