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.