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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Soon, Oklahoma Will Have Fewer Requirements To Shoot A Gun Than Drive A Car

The new 'Constitutional Carry' Law goes into effect this November.

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When it comes to legislature, Oklahoma almost always falls on the conservative end of the spectrum. We are a consistently 'red' state- and not just because of the dirt. Oklahoma's politicians typically choose to implement greater restrictions, both fiscally and socially (i.e. reduced influence of environmental groups, strongly regulated budgets, smaller role of government overall). But regarding gun ownership, Oklahomans elect for fewer restrictions. This isn't entirely surprising as guns are so ingrained in our culture, but the extent to which gun rights are set to expand is troubling.

On February 27th of this year, Bill 2597, also known as 'Constitutional Carry,' passed through the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The bill was signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt, with resounding support from other Republican state officials. Essentially, the new law will allow Oklahomans to carry a firearm without licensing, background checks, or training. Representative Kevin West argues that the bill will simply ensure a right which has already been granted to citizens, but which has not always been upheld. The Tulsa World expands on this, expressing West's belief that "the cost of training and licensing is an unconstitutional barrier to gun ownership, and...[it] will particularly benefit poor people." West feels that for gun ownership to be a true right, it must be unencumbered by existing requirements. He believes the bill will more easily allow the poor to defend themselves in possibly unsafe neighborhoods without the worry of additional payments for training and licensing.

Representative Monroe Nichols disagrees, stating that in his three years overseeing economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Tulsa, he has never encountered a citizen struggling to "[decide] between a gun and a sandwich." Nichols has a point. Of all the issues plaguing the poor, the inability to own a gun isn't usually at the top of the list. In fact, decreasing requirements for gun ownership and thereby increasing the number of gun owners threatens a rise in gun-related deaths, especially in these poor, unsafe neighborhoods.

When it comes to gun ownership and law reform, the term 'common sense' gets tossed around a lot. But in the true sense of the phrase, Constitutional Carry is not common sense. With almost no vetting process whatsoever, there is no way to ensure gun owners will be smart and responsible. Sixteen-year-olds in their first year of driving will potentially receive more testing and training than first-time gun buyers, which is completely unacceptable. The passing of Bill 2597 will basically repeal the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act or OSDA. Writers and supporters of the bill acknowledge that places which currently ban firearms on their premises will continue to do so, but any establishment that wishes to allow guns on its grounds will also be opening its doors to unlicensed and possibly inexperienced handlers.

In addition to the continued restriction of guns on specified properties (such as stores, schools, government buildings, etc.), the bill will deny ownership to convicted felons, those with mental illness, or other related constraints. Representative Justin Humphrey explains that the bill "just allows you to carry a weapon without having to pay for the permitting, background and all the things you have to..." the same explanation presented by others. Yet, "Humphrey stressed if the bill would pass, it would not take away background checks for any person going to buy a gun" (okcfox.com). Humphrey's statements are in direct contradiction to one another. If certain individuals are to be prevented from purchasing guns, how will their competency be determined without a background check? Are they to be provided or not? The practical details that will be put in effect based on the bill's requirements are disturbingly unclear.

Ultimately, Constitutional Carry is a big step in the wrong direction. I support the Second Amendment and agree that law-abiding citizens should be granted the right to bear arms, but the elimination of background checks and basic training requirements is reckless and uninformed.

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