Studies have shown that many young people are not as physically fit as they should be to ensure good health. This reason alone is enough to encourage them to participate in fitness or sports programs.
But there are many more benefits than just physical fitness.
Athletics can teach young people such important things as:
• Setting goals and striving to reach them.
• Working cooperatively with others to achieve a goal.
• Conflict resolution skills.
• The value of persistence.
• How to think clearly under pressure.
• Confidence in their ability to solve problems.
• How hard work and practice pay direct dividends.
• People aren’t interested in excuses or reasons for failure.
• Respect for fair play.
• Rewards for success.
Many physical, mental, character-building, social, emotional and spiritual attributes are experienced through participation in athletics. Athletic experience can help people build skills and character traits that will help them in their careers, marriages, friendships and every other aspect of life.
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On the other hand, being totally obsessed with sports and winning can have detrimental effects that can outweigh the benefits.
A sense of self-worth
Diving champion Greg Louganis said on national television that if he had been better adjusted as a child, he wouldn’t have won four gold medals at the Olympics.
Louganis, who was adopted, said that growing up, he felt that the only value he had was his ability to win at sports. Without sports, he felt worthless.
But participation in sports should be a means to an end. It is a way to build character and to learn
skills that will benefit a person for a lifetime.
Sports is not just about winning, either, just as life is not about accumulating everything that you possibly can for yourself. As they say, you can’t take it with you.
Hall of fame football running back Gale Sayers says, “The Lord is first, my friends are second and I am third.” He believes in that so strongly that he titled his blog I Am Third.