5 Life Lessons I Learned From School Sports

Posted by Paula Viray

May 25th, 2018

Throughout middle school and high school, I learned many life lessons that have influenced me in a positive way. I didn’t just learn these lessons in the classroom, but also on the court. Because I was a student athlete, I discovered valuable life lessons while being a part of a team.

When I was 10 years old, my parents enrolled me in an after school activity called Little Dribblers. It was a program for younger kids to learn and develop the fundamental skills of basketball. After participating in the program, I knew I wanted to to try out for the school basketball team.

When 7th grade came around, I was finally able to join the team.

While playing on my school’s basketball team, I was able to not only develop my basketball skills, but also learn valuable life lessons. Here are a few that come to mind.

Life lessons I learned from sports

1. If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late

Students were always told to be on time for class, but even if you were late, the punishment wasn’t that severe. The worst would be staying late after school to make up for it.

However, if you were late for basketball, that meant running laps or “suicides”. I despised running, especially suicides. I mean, just the name itself sounds horrid.

Because I knew I hated running, I needed a way to prevent it. So I made sure to be at practice extra early, even if that meant power-walking to the gym.

I did this for so long that it became habitual. Even now, when I have an appointment or need to be somewhere at a specific time, I always end up getting there early. Because I’m always early, people know that I’m reliable.

2. Hard work beats talent

In 8th grade, I was placed on the “B-Team” which meant I had a long way to go if I wanted to be on the team in high school.

It was very discouraging.

During one of the “B-Team” tournaments, I played the hardest I had ever played and hustled the best hustle. We didn’t place at the tournament, but I still received a plaque for being one of the best players there. It was one of the best days of my life.

Our coach later told us that some of the teams we played were “A-Teams.” I learned that hard work does pay off in the end. Even though I was on the “B-Team” I was still able to get recognition among a group that was a higher rank than me. This pushed me to be better, and I was able to gain confidence in my skills.

3. There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’

I don’t usually like to admit it, but I’m a very competitive person. I hate losing and I always want to be the best. Because of that, I saw my teammates as rivals, which didn’t help out the team at all.

Basketball is a team effort. If you avoid passing the ball or letting your teammates do their part, you’ll lose. It’s like you’re playing 1 against 5 – unless you’re Michael Jordan, the odds of winning aren’t great.

Eventually, I learned that my teammates are there to support me. Where I was weak, they helped me to be stronger, and vice versa.

4. Discipline is your own responsibility

Basketball is a fun sport to play, but like all sports, there are fundamentals that have to be practiced. If you want to do your best, you have to discipline yourself to constantly improve, no matter how mundane it can get.

There were times when I got bored and didn’t practice my fundamentals as often as I should’ve, and I paid the price. I realized that my best games were played when I practiced daily and not just when the coach told me to.

I’m responsible for my own success, and discipline helped me achieve my goals.

5. Lose with dignity and succeed with class

Have I mentioned I hate losing?

In 8th grade, we lost more games than we won and it was disheartening. However, no matter how many times we lost, we kept playing.

Losing didn’t make me love basketball any less, and I still loved being on the team. I learned that life goes on. You have to continuously work to get better.

This was probably the hardest lesson I learned.

But when we did win games, I was more appreciative of the win and respected others for their hard work.

These were just a few life lessons I learned while being on my school’s basketball team. These lessons have helped me to succeed in life, whether it’s at work or in my own personal life.

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