The Gifts We Experience Through Sports

Jul 09, 2022

They say a picture says a 1,000 words.

Several years ago, I started sharing inspirational posts with the hashtag #sports.

It was an attempt, albeit a minor one, to put out positive posts that counter the all-too-often cesspool that is called social media.

If I had to caption the pic above, it would be #sports.

My daughter’s soccer team (Match Fit Academy Girls) lost in the ECNL Girls national finals this weekend in Richmond, VA. In fact, it was the first time they’ve lost in ECNL play all year.

No national title, no trophy. Tough to take.

But when I see this impromptu picture, which I luckily captured the week prior at the ECNL national playoffs in Seattle, I’m reminded of the many gifts my daughter gets to experience through sports.

The game was over. My daughter and a teammate were taking in the end of another game, and this is how I found them.

I’ve written before about the ills of youth sports today - and there are a lot of them. I’m also nostalgic about how I grew up. But when your kids get to play in the right environment, youth sports can still provide powerful life lessons that other activities simply cannot.

My daughter is 13. She loves her teammates. She loves her coach. She knows what it’s like to win, and to lose. She knows what it’s like to sacrifice for others and what it means to be a part of something bigger than herself.

And at the end of the day, like it was for me in the military, higher ed, and business, it’s ultimately about the relationships you build along the way.

It’s about doing hard, meaningful things with people you know, like, trust, and respect.

This picture perfectly embodies that sentiment, and I will cherish it.

#sports #teammates

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