With the MLB playoffs in full swing, the NFL season in week 6, NHL going strong and the NBA season getting ready to tip-off, the competitive spirit of our country is in full swing!
As a former competitive athlete myself, I’m always inspired by the level of teamwork displayed amongst teams we watch night-in and night-out, and how somebody (rarely the same person repeatedly) always steps-up to get the job done in clutch situations for the greater good of the team.
It got me thinking about all of the positive qualities and characteristics that come from being an athlete and being part of a team. You’re all familiar with the saying “there’s no “i” in team”… clearly that’s true, but lets examine how this selfless statement can have a positive impact our kids.
It’s a wonderful thing for kids to learn that they can rely on others to have their back, hold them up and cheer them on… this promotes trust and a willingness to put themselves out there, knowing that doing their very best is good enough, no matter the end result. What about sportsmanship? Think of all the great characteristics that come from learning and demonstrating good sportsmanship. Let’s take it a step further… what about the confidence that can be built in kids due to athletics and overall health and fitness. Not to mention how as they grow older the dedication and drive that results from training to improve their game, whether its in a team format or individual sport like golf or tennis, impacts your life.
Trust, comfort with vulnerability, grit, tenaciousness, good sportsmanship, self-confidence, dedication, determination… wow!! These are all great qualities, and I bet there aren’t many parents out there that wouldn’t want to develop these qualities in their kids.
I personally believe that girls, specifically, get something out of team sports that they can’t get any place else. All of us parents of girls want to develop strong, confident and determined young ladies. When they’re teens and find themselves being challenged to give-in to various forms of peer pressure (drinking/drugs, sex, cheating, stealing, lying, etc) which ultimately they’ll all face, don’t we want to know that they have the strength and character to make the right choice and feel great about themselves while doing it? In my opinion, sports helps with all of that!
There are many ways as parents to demonstrate a team player mentality. I’d love to hear about things you do to inspire a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship in your kids. I’d especially be interested in hearing about these developed qualities in older kids that you feel came from participation in athletics and team environments.
Until next week… go team!!