More than Success in the Season

More than Success in the Season
By: Hannah Hallmark

     Sports: the pastime of many high school students. The escape from the struggles of the world, even if only for a few hours. Athletes put excessive amounts of time and effort into the sports they play; however, not all the pay off from the hard work is immediate. Delayed gratification from sports teach athletes many lessons that will have lasting effects on their life.

       Perseverance is an important skill many athletes learn at a young age. To be successful in sports you must be able to push through the slumps. As one grows older the importance of perseverance only grows stronger. The struggle to balance work, kids, your marriage, and still have alone time takes someone who will not give up when things get hard. Being behind in ballgames teach an athlete this skill. A team that lays down when a call or play does not go their way will never reach their full potential. This same rule applies in life. When you and your boss have an argument, you get over-loaded, or the money is tight, you can not just quit, you have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. Sports teach that giving up is never an option.

       Discipline: this word often has a negative connotation associated with it, but with athletes it is a skill that is actively sought after. Being able to lay off the rise ball, or avoid getting your 5th foul takes that so called discipline. This is the skill that keeps the college student focused on their school work, the skill that keeps them in the dorm studying for an exam rather than out with their friends. The skill that keeps the newly weds at home eating sandwiches instead of going out because money is tight. This discipline is not punishment; rather responsibility. It is the skill that will advance you in the long run, to make you a better athlete, and give you a better life.

    The most important life skill that sports teach is leadership; how to step up and not be afraid to help or instruct others. The most successful people in life possess this skill. Being a leader on a team requires patience with teammates. Being willing to be an example, not only in drills, but also in speech and conduct; the one who stays after practice to sweep and take out the garbage. In life being a leader requires someone who will step in to fill the gaps, to do the extra work no one else is willing to do. Going above and beyond to do things that have to get done before the end of the day. Learning leadership at a young age makes it easier to continue to lead as you grow. Sports separate the leaders from the followers and help them find their way and their place.

    Although sports are not necessary to acquire these life skills, the attributes needed to be a successful athlete lead to the development of them. The hard work and effort required for sports generate adults willing to go the extra mile for the people next to them; people who put self-wants and needs aside to accomplish the task at hand. Sports produce adults who never, ever give up, no matter how many obstacles stand in the way.