The recent addition of Sports Plaques to the Apple Awards family and all the wonderful sports memories contributed by readers on Facebook leads us to think about the valuable role of life lessons learned through sports.
Our society puts a lot of emphasis on sports. Just look at March Madness and how many places it pops up in our world – everyplace from work to worship (yes, it was mentioned at church and the focus of a fun event). There may be a reader or two (and yes, I was one of them) who don’t know much about March Madness. It is one of the highlights of the year for spectators and players alike, when college basketball teams compete for the NCAA championship.
While we at Apple Awards want to acknowledge that sports are not the focus of life for most people, they are important because they mirror other aspects of our lives – our work and our families. It is in sports programs that physical skills are honed, but more importantly, skills of leadership and cooperation are also taught and recognized. What do we learn?
We learn that morale starts with leadership. Team sports like basketball, football, soccer and others show us that coaches and team captains set the tone and players respond. Even in the face of difficulties, leadership can change the direction of a team, a company, or a family by focusing on true priorities and reminding of basic values learned.
We learn that attitude is EVERYTHING, well, almost. Skill plus positive attitude is an unbeatable force when it comes to success. Sports experiences can teach that the ups and downs of life are better weathered if attitudes remain positive. Positive attitude is a contagious condition and will spread to those around you so cultivate it and share it!
We learn that skills need development. Nobody is born knowing how to play basketball and nobody is born knowing how to complete business tasks or participate in family life. Time, patience and repetition go into learning many skills, enabling us to complete our tasks. We learn that we feel valued when others take time to help us develop our abilities. We are informed of our talents and encouraged!
Sports teach us that we must assess our progress. We must evaluate and make changes in our strategies and approaches from time to time.
Probably of greatest importance, we can learn from our sports experiences that we each have something to contribute, that we can be responsible and reliable, and that we can appreciate and respect others for their contributions. Pretty basic stuff, right?
I hope you enjoyed March Madness, no matter which team won!