Playing a sport for the majority of one’s life can create impactful developments of respect, accountability, and leadership qualities in an athlete. Just by watching a game, the viewer can tell that every athlete’s life has been changed in some shape or form by a sport.
It is easy to see that athletes can take on many physical changes throughout their career. However, there are also beneficial mental changes an athlete goes through as well. When you are physically active, your mind is distracted from worrying about everyday struggles. As the adrenaline pumps, concentration increases helping you not only on the field but off.
Skye Ah Yat is a SNU softball player that has been playing the sport since she was four years old. Ah Yat says, “without sports I really could have never been okay. It has helped me become a better individual inside and out.” With this being said, Ah Yat continued to say that life is precious and is often taken for granted. According to Ah Yat, the most important thing is “to use the sport God has given you to play to the best of your abilities, no matter who is watching or where you are.”
Jessie Fouts is a sophomore setter on the women’s volleyball team. Ever since the fourth grade, she has dedicated the majority of her time playing volleyball. Through the sport, Fouts has learned vital skills that have had a great impact on her life such as the “importance of being on time, being dependable, and having a good work ethic.” Fout continues to say that, “playing a sport, especially in college has helped me connect with others and build relationships quickly.”
Leadership qualities are necessary for any successful team. On the topic of leadership, Fouts says, “volleyball strengthened my leadership qualities because people are depending on you and your decisions, sometimes choosing to do hard things instead of taking the easy route.” Ah Yat says, “no matter what, lead with a positive attitude and a big heart.”
Taking these qualities and applying them into a world outside of athletics is what every good coach is striving to implement in these athletes. Positive changes can always be incorporated in practice sessions but it is up to the athlete to take those changes and apply them as life skills.