The Importance of Sports to Learn and Strengthen Values
“Sports give life.” This phrase has accompanied me since I started playing sports at 5 years old. I have tried many sports, from to skating to basketball, track to boxing, chess… and in all of them, I have found a common factor, a true school of values for personal development.
Sports have taught me:
- Discipline. This is the first lesson you learn. Discipline is needed to reach our goals. Punctuality, commitment to the obligation, responsibility, patience, perseverance, as well as dedication to practicing, to games, and to yourself.
- Empathy. To be able to put yourself in their shoes and feel how the opponent does when you are the one who wins. It helps to learn to relativize success because victory in any sport is momentary and sooner or later, it will be your turn to lose.
- Self-knowledge. It helps to know your own inner world, skills, strong points, limitations, etc.
- Effort. In any sport, effort and sacrifice are fundamental to progressing and getting better each day. In life, like in sports, to reach our goals we need to pay the price. If we don’t teach this lesson to the coming generations we will be raising conformists with no ambition to take on the world.
- Feeling of self-efficiency. Sports give us space for self-improvement. Daily challenges are set at each practice that allow us to generate a sense of control and improvement in practice showing us as competent beings with skills and the aim to overcome.
- Respect. Every sport requires compliance with rules so that it functions properly. Rules of play and practice coexist due to their acceptance and obedience. As well as respecting the opponent by valuing and accepting those who are worse and better, less or more skilled. All of this cultivates a feeling of nobility and acceptance of diversity in an athlete.
- Learning defeat. Dealing with the feeling of frustration when, despite your best efforts you fail to win, this is the daily struggle of an athlete. Learning to experience failure and not be paralyzed by it will help children to be emotionally balanced, able, and thoughtful people who seek solutions to the obstacles that will appear in life.
- Working as a team. The practice of collective sports fosters a sense of belonging, cooperation, collaboration, sociability, and solidarity by distancing itself from toxic egocentrisms. By working for a common goal the unity of everyone involved is more efficient than an individual.
- Healthy life. Regularly practicing sports allows us to have a balanced and healthy life. When we partake in physical activity it produces a massive release of chemical substances in our brains (dopamine, noradrenaline, endorphins) which produces a sensation of wellbeing, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves self-esteem and memory.
“Sport is itself, one of the most fascinating things that happen to us in life, remember it.”