4 Critical Life Lessons Learned From Sports

“Changing Lives Through Basketball”

It’s been proven in research and many former athletes create lucrative careers writing and talking about what their sport experience taught them and how they apply that to their lives today.  Below are 4 of the most critical sport skills that athletes can transfer to life.

Understanding commitment:  No matter how much you love sports, if you play long enough there will inevitably be days that you’d rather not be there to train or practice.  Athletes learn how work through these days and perform despite low motivation.  One of the distinguishing factors between good athletes and great athletes is that great athletes can play through days of low motivation better than most.  Effort always trumps talent.

Defining Success:  Athletic success can be defined many ways, the most obvious is through wins and losses.  However, as most seasoned athletes can tell you, success is often defined by goals of personal performance standards or team performance standards.  Ask any experienced athlete, when do learn more?  During an easy win or a loss where you played well but were beat?  Success can be defined many ways, the longer you play sports, the more you come to understand this.

Setting and Achieving Goals:  There are the inherent goals within a competition, to win or do your best, but truly setting goals is much more complex than that.  Long-term goals, short-term goals, daily goals, performance goals, and outcome goals all need to be part of the plan.  Successful competitive athletes bring goals to the forefront of their attention.  Motivation research tells us over and over again that when kids understand why they are doing a drill and how it relates to their bigger goals, like winning a game, they are much more likely to buy-in and increase their work ethic.

Overcoming obstacles: Life will inevitably throw us some curve balls that we are expected to deal with.  Getting through the daily grind of training, competing and continually fine tuning skills and performance teaches athletes a great deal.  However, toss in some injuries, questionable coaching, difficult teammates, some bad calls by refs, getting cut from the team, low motivation and some exceedingly high expectations to fulfill, welcome to the lower half of the love/hate relationship with sports.  Overcoming obstacles is not easy, often not fun, but fortunately loaded with life lessons.

Competing in sports at any age can be very challenging.  It should also be fun.  Make the effort to help your kids get the most out of their sport experience by using adversity to learn skills to last a lifetime.


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