April: The Power of Sports
I’m going to go straight ahead and put it out there: I love sport. Playing, umpiring, learning and watching it. Although, this is mainly in regards to netball, I absolutely love everything that comes with learning a and training for sports- the setbacks and the successes, the new skills and the memories made along the way.
There are many articles that explain the importance of playing sport for the future and how team sports develop soft skills, but there are also great benefits to playing sport that make life better daily. Sport improves stress levels, increases endorphins (a naturally occurring chemical that makes people happy), builds self confidence, creates pathways for new friends to be made and also improves classroom performance (for more information on this, click here)
Now, these all are great things and are very true, but for me, playing sport lets me do something different. Something other than school work where I am out with other girls and we just have fun. I have a great time with my netball team, with the girls at school running training and the people that I spend time with at netball carnivals. Spending time with people that aren’t with you at school every day is refreshing and it’s great to know that the people you play sport with are going to support you whenever you need. They’re the people that watch you learn and they are going to be the ones who support you when you struggle.
I had to stop playing netball for some time because of an injury. I didn’t play for two years and didn’t think I would play again (doctors and physios told me I shouldn’t play or I’d risk another injury). I still was involved and had a great time throwing myself into umpiring and coaching but it was never the same. I was then told last year that I would be able to play again (I was so excited I cried!). Since then, I have gotten back to playing and I have never had more fun. I have had great teammates and coaches and my return to netball has only got me loving the sport more.
Maybe playing sports will open up new opportunities to learn with things like coaching or umpiring (refereeing, depending on the sport), maybe it will just be a good time for you and friends to laugh together while becoming as strong as you can be. Whatever the motivation, find a sport that makes you happy and that love. Who knows, maybe playing a new sport will ignite the fire within you.