How Sports Can Save You and Set You up for Success

Good Morning Everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Easter 🌷 The nice sunshine is making me feel nostalgic about the beautiful memories I've experienced in life so far. Now that my knee is feeling better and I'm back running, I wanted to write about the importance of sports today, especially for kids in their formative years. One of the things that bothered me so much about the Pandemic is, aside from schools being closed, sports were cut as well. Sports are such an important and invaluable experience for kids and the sooner they start the better they are at learning discipline, how to be part of a team, have healthy role models and set goals. Being part of a team prepares kids for life as an adult because it teaches discipline, sacrifice and being empathetic and collaborative with others. It also teaches them how to lose gracefully and stay focused and motivated despite numerous trials and set-backs. Sports are especially important in today's society where kids spend most of their time glued to screens and hyper-focused on social media and don't have role models, guidance or direction. In these situations, sports can be that one thing that saves a kid from going down a dark path in life. It can literally save them and set them up for success later in life. When they cut sports this past year, the motivation, inspiration and sportsmanship that had already developed in kids began to decline, not only in their physical well-being but in other areas in their life. For many kids who play sports, and for active people in general, their heart is in it 100%, and when such an important thing is taken away, it is often replaced with feelings of despair, depression and hopelessness. I wasn't in a ton of sports growing up, but my favorite time in high school was when I was in cross country. I struggled a lot my first year, but during my second year of competitive running I had just begun to find my stride. I shaved 4 minutes off my run time that year and on one specific practice run I passed all the team Captains and they began cheering me on, chanting my name and voted me as the Most Inspirational runner on the team. Another day during practice, my coach was waiting for me at the end of a very hard run and said how proud he was of me for finishing my first 5 mile run without stopping. I think Cross Country was my favorite time growing up because I became stronger, learned discipline, made friends and was proud of myself for the first time. How important do you think sports are for kids? Share you favorite experiences playing sports, what you learned from your experience, how it changed you and what advice you might have for anyone struggling with finding the strength or discipline to stay motivated.

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