6 Life Lessons that Anyone Can Learn From Playing Team Sports

6 Life Lessons that Anyone Can Learn From Playing Team Sports

Team sports can teach us important life lessons that we can embody for the rest of our life.
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The human race learns best from personal experience, and through that personal experience, they learn lessons that they can embody for the rest of their life. Additionally, there can be specific lessons that can be learned only through experiencing certain events. Playing team sports can help us learn those lessons and simultaneously enjoy life. I encourage any person to participate in a team sport, whether it be organized teams in a park, or simple backyard pickup games. Wherever you may be, these lessons can always be learned.

1. Hard Work

Through hard work, success can be obtained. That is a principle that all sports follows. We all learn that we need to work hard to improve and reach our true potential as athletes. This mentality can quickly pick up the slack where talent leaves. A common quote I hear quite often is “Always remember that when you are training, there is always someone out there working harder than you. Because of that, you cannot just quit, but rather keep on going.

2. Teamwork

When we graduate from college and get jobs, we will most likely find ourselves participating in a group environment where teamwork is imperative to success. Team sports are a great way to learn those mechanics, where each individual learns to find their niche on the team, and once each member does, the team becomes greater than the sum of the parts. We learn how the importance of the team supplants the recognition of individual accolades-that by working together as a group with a common goal, things can be accomplished that otherwise would be out of the reach of individuals.

3. Sacrifice

At a young age, we learn that it takes a lot of sacrifice in order contribute to a team and find the success that we all want. Activities such as gaming and watching TV must be sacrificed for the greater good of the team.

4. Goal Setting and Striving for Them

There are two types of goals: Short term and long term. Successful people set their own goals, both short term and long term to help them envision what they want. Setting both team goals and individual goals can help a team become more cohesive. Those goals can help mirror the improvement desired and then once those goals are set, then a plan can be set for them. Similarly, this can also be implemented in other aspects of our life. We can create those goals, and once those goals are set, we can better plan for the path we wish to take to get there, thus creating organization.

5. Overcoming adversity

Life is not fair and it will never be fair. Thus, we will come across brick walls and other such obstacles. However, those obstacles imposed on us aren’t there to prevent us from reaching us, it is to see how badly we want to attain those goals. Learning how to overcome those brick walls can teach us quickly the mind set needed in order to break through them and obtain what we want.

6. Before success comes failure -- sports teaches you how to deal with both

When success is obtained, there usually comes a strong desire to brag about it. But through those lessons we can learn that such accomplishments can be appreciated without demeaning the opponent, thus maintaining the spirit of an important principle: Sportsmanship.

Cover Image Credit: The Sports Truth

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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