Playing sports is one thing, but the importance behind it can be frequently overlooked and undervalued.
Often used to maintain and improve emotional and physical health, sports offer a gateway into other important values in life which cannot be ignored.
PHOTO BY MEGAN JACKLIN / LAURIER PHOTOGRAPHY
“Sports are a way for me to be active and have fun. Playing sports allow me to let go of everything that is happening in my life and focus on doing something that I enjoy,” said Kara Hughes, a varsity athlete at Laurier Brantford.
Sports can be used as an outlet to get away from the more mundane tasks everyone goes through. The shifted focus to understanding and enjoying what one is playing helps one’s mental and emotional development.
Helping create a competitive edge, the opportunity that playing a game of soccer, basketball, or tennis shows what a person is made of when they are engaged in a group or single game setting.
“No matter what you do in life, you’ll always be around other people,” said Hughes. “Being part of a team, I have learned there is a give and take and you need to have a good work ethic. For people around you to trust and respect you, you need to put in the work rather than just doing enough to get by.”
Character development is an essential part of sports and can assist in revealing desirable traits people wish to have. Showing determination, resilience, and reliability are all life values one can cultivate from a sports setting.
Using these same traits aid in handling different situations life throws towards people such as doubt, dealing with defeat and at times, failure.
Failure, being an unfortunate part of life, is a theme seen often in sports. One may go through this from time to time and must learn to find professional and acceptable ways of dealing with it.
“Sports have allowed me to grow into my own and find my true self,” said Jaeda Brefo, a student at Laurier Brantford. “Understanding that other people are relying on me when working with a team, showed me how I have to be responsible for my actions to help the overall goal of a team.”
Responsibility is one of the most important values an individual carries themselves with. Being responsible not only shows one can control their actions but also allows others to put the same amount of trust into you.
Knowing you are a part of something bigger than yourself can force people to feel overwhelmed or out of place. However, taking initiative and embracing the challenge to wanting to put your best foot forward helps a team keep the best atmosphere possible.
“One piece of advice I would offer if you were deciding to play a sport is to not worry about the results right away. If you are doing it for the right reasons and are willing to always do your best, you should give yourself that chance and go through with it,” said Brefo.
Choosing to do something new and out of your comfort zone is not an easy decision for anyone but when you have the right intentions behind it, it makes the process much easier.
PHOTO BY JAKOB OWENS / UNSPLASH
Sports offer a way to relieve stress, learn leadership and become dedicated to a cause bigger than yourself. The benefits of playing heavily outweigh the cons and should be looked at as a place of personal expression, a break from everyday activities and a chance to try something new.
“Just go for it because you never know what will happen,” said Hughes. I know I have been nervous in the past about joining a new team, but some of my best memories have come from playing sports and being part of a team.”
You never know what you can achieve if you do not try. Sports deliver an option to be yourself and find out new things you may be unfamiliar with also.
The importance of sports goes deeper than staying active for a certain amount of time every day. It is also a bridge in growing an individual’s mental and physical approach to daily activities as well as gaining a greater understanding of one’s true self.
Thankfully, sports are integrated into everyday activities where people can join whenever they feel ready. Students are also encouraged to partake in sports to give the necessary balance of relaxation and enjoyment while dealing with schoolwork.
Hopefully, more students are encouraged to try out a new physical activity for this upcoming year and start a new routine guaranteed to benefit all parts of their lives.