Often when we think of sports, we think of winning championships as the ultimate goal. Sure, winning is great, and most people in sports are competitive by nature with a drive to win, but there’s more reasons so many of us play sports, especially at non-elite levels.
Here’s 8 parts of sports that are more important than winning championships:
1. TEAMMATES WHO BECOME FAMILY
The relationships you make through sports are some of the most important relationships you’ll ever make. Whether it’s young girls finding their group of friends or busy moms taking time for themselves to play sports, the friendships made through sports are often life-long.
When you talk to athletes about the championships they’ve won, they always mention the people they did it with—Sport helps us find our people.
2. FINDING YOURSELF & A PLACE YOU BELONG
Sometimes it’s hard to find your place in this world, but sports helps so many of us find our identity, ourselves, and a place where we belong.
We know some sports have a long way to go to truly be for everyone, but we believe in the power of sports and the way they can bring us together—you belong in sports.
3. GAINING CONFIDENCE YOU DIDN’T HAVE BEFORE
Sports are an incredible way to learn, to grow, and build confidence. Whether you’re making your first basket on the court, learning a new skill, or have a team of incredible women behind you cheering you on, sports will uncover a new level of confidence within you.
4. MASTERING A NEW SKILL
It’s so important to never stop learning, growing and discovering new things, including within yourself. There’s nothing better than the feeling of finally hitting the shot, making that move, or nailing that skill you’ve been practicing for months. You can do more than you ever thought possible through sports.
5. COLD BEERS WITH TEAMMATES
Obviously this one’s for our adult athletes (change it to cold ice cream for our young readers) but nothing beats being surrounded by your new family (see #1) and crushing some cold ones, especially after you’ve just worked your butt off on the ice, court, or field. You deserve the treat and time with your people, girl!
6. IMPROVED PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
This one should probably get moved to number 1 because it’s a HUGE benefit of sports at any level. When you’re out there moving your body with your community of people, the impact it has on both your physical and mental health is unlike anything else.
7. A BREAK AND ESCAPE FROM REGULAR LIFE
Regular life sucks sometimes and sports are the perfect escape. When you’re out there doing your thing, nothing else matters. You forget that you were stressed 15 minutes ago, you get a break from your career or taking care of your family, and you can truly take time to focus on you.
8. BEING A PART OF A COMMUNITY
This is one of the best parts of sports—the people you meet along the way, the people in your corner, the people who get you. Whether you’re a part of your team’s community, the broader sports community, or inclusive communities within sports—your people are waiting for you.