Top 10 Life Lessons Sports Can Teach Your Athlete

We all know that sports mimic life, don't they? Some days glory, most days not; some days smooth sailing and some days a grind. But what are the real, enduring life lessons your athlete gains from her participation in youth sports?

Here are my Top 10 Life Lessons sports teaches your athlete:

1. Teamwork  - Teamwork requires cooperation and putting herself second behind the collective good and goals of the team. This includes supporting her teammates even when she's having a tough game herself.

2. Determination and Perseverance - In a game like fastpitch softball your athlete will need to learn to overcome adversity through sheer determination and perseverance some days. Never give up and never give in no matter what the score or what the count!

3. Patience - With perseverance comes patience; patience for her teammates and their attitudes and personalities, patience for her parents who too quickly judge her performance; patience for herself...recognizing that mastery of this game is a journey that some days requires taking one step back to go two steps forward tomorrow.
girls softball all star game

4. Hard Work - Fastpitch softball is a game that requires her to get dirty, to make the investment necessary week in and week out to become an elite player. It requires pain and sacrifice of getting up early and home late. To be the best she can be requires a phenomenal work ethic.

5. Accomplishment - Nothing is more fulfilling for your athlete than the feeling she gets after a job well done. Sports allows her to work hard and then see the results of her efforts. Priceless!

6. Self-Reliance and Personal Responsibility - In the big picture of life self-reliance means she will be able to motivate herself to get the job done, whatever it is. Getting to practice and games on time, completing practice drills effectively and taking responsibility for her equipment, etc. are all fabulous life lessons.

 7. Taking Direction - Sports teaches your athlete to take direction from her coaches in both learning the proper way to play the game, but also picking up the signs during the games. Succeeding at this game also requires she be a good listener to as to minimize mental mistakes.

8. Concentration - Playing sports allows your athlete to cultivate her power of concentration, particularly in high stress situations.

9. Detachment - Detachment is necessary for your athlete to learn as an effective means of letting go of past mistakes and being able to focus on the task at hand with present moment awareness.

10. Goal Setting - Of course one of the greatest life lessons sports teaches your athlete is the importance of setting both personal and team goals to strive for. Perfection may never to achieved, but the striving to get there is the lesson that lasts a lifetime.

The result of participating in youth sports is enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence; self-reliance; fitness and friendships plus a lifetime of great memories of good times and tough ones. As adults, for many of us, our youth sports experiences have shaped the people we are today.

 Watch John Kelly explain how to skyrocket your athlete's game day performance HERE.

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