What Better Way To Teach
A CORE family value? Sports Life Lessons?
What am I trying to say? Do I really believe I am better off today and learned more life lessons simply because I participated in sports?
YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE IT!
I am totally CONVINCED that athletics plays an extremely important role in the mental, emotional and physical developmental health of a child. Even takes them further professionally and personally. Yep. Sports DO develop REAL, honest to goodness, skills and definitely teaches us many LIFE LESSONS.
Why do I believe this? Am I a psychologist or a physician? Nope.
I can say this for several other very good reasons though. None of which I learned in any BOOK!
I LIVED a life involving athletics. I know FIRST-HAND what it did for me. I also think I am blessed with the ability to accurately assess the world around me--especially when it comes to people.
In most cases, although this, like everything else, has its exceptions, those that participated in sports learned lifelong lessons that they likey would NOT have without their favorite physical activity!
No matter which is your favorite..Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, Martial Arts, Dance, Track and Field, Cycling, Gymnastics, or Swimming, etc.
JUST DO IT! You'll be SO glad you did!
Imagine for a moment two of my own real-life scenarios:
Sports Life Lesson #1
Struck out 4 times in a row, line drive off the big toe, shattered hamstring (on TOP of the strained ankle from last game), torn uniform at the knees and backside--blood seeping from both, white uniform is now brown, green, black and red. Lost game because I let a ball get through to the fence. AND... a three hour bus ride home.
(Well, it's not excatly like fighting in a war--but can you draw some vague comparisons?)--OK.
Sports Life Lesson #2.
Championship Game. Loser goes home well... the "loser".
Next to last inning, very close score.
I'm in left field nervous as hell.--it's been 17 years and I've NEVER won a championship.--It's really the "now or never" in my sports career.
"WHACK!!!"-Opposing batter blasts a screaming line drive out our way. I immediately calculated that I had NO CHANCE to catch it. After all, I had steel knee braces on BOTH knees--I was 32 years of age and FEELING it!
So I quickly glanced over at our speedy center fielder and knew it would be up to him
to get to that ball. If it fell in we were very likely doomed as two runs would easily score and put them ahead with little time left to play.
(Yes--it IS possible for the human mind to think all of this in about TWO seconds time!-amazing isn't it?)
OK- After realizing that our center fielder was also too far away to get to this ball...
Someway, somehow (and honestly if I ever had a religious experience in sports--this is it!) I just remember commanding myself to "RUN"! and then to "LEAP OUT"! Then ...nothing....silence....
I knew the play was over. I felt nothing. I was completely horizontal in the air(they tell me) and I have no memory at all of the play that happened. For one thing--when you throw your body three feet straight out and off the ground--you KNOW you will HIT the ground.
So WHEN I opened my eyes--my first two thoughts were: "What did I injure?" and then I instinctively turned my head to the left, FULLY EXPECTING to see the ball rolling around way out at the fence. But I didn't see it.... I saw my center fielder-just standing there confused like I was.
And THEN......the next logical thing to do was ..... to OPEN the glove on my fully extended left arm.... Slowly.... I pryed it open....
And THERE-- it was! So incredibly beautiful!
Just a stupid little ball of strings with a piece of a cow's rear-end wrapped around it.
My very speedy, muscular (now Policeman!) center fielder is still embarrassed when I mention the girly SQUEAL he let out when he knew I had the ball.
Interestingly, if you ever saw the movie "Angels in the Outfield"--you will understand what I felt that day.
I still do not think I made that play "alone". It has become known by those that saw it as 'THE CATCH'. I am convinced that I could physically NOT have done it.
This is also NOT at all an exaggeration of the event.
Another weird thing.. is that the date was August 16th, 1995. The very day that one of the all-time great ballplayers, Mickey Mantle, passed away.
If you ask me,though,I'll tell you that think he had ONE MORE stop to make before he left us.
Yes, yes. Sports teach us some great life lessons.....play your heart out!
OH--and in case you are wondering..we DID win the game AND the CHAMPIONSHIP!
One very special play made up for all of the
other losses,injuries, depressing seasons etc. They no longer bother me. I just remember 'The Catch'! --and I get a huge grin... every... single... time.