How To Fail – And Other Life Lessons From Team Sports

Penalty Shot
An important question is making it’s rounds through the blogosphere…
What life lessons do kids learn from playing team sports?
If you’re an active mom blogger, you likely have read some great posts triggered by this recent BlogFrog conversation.
The benefits of playing team sports are so well known, they can almost feel like cliches and be taken for granted. But, as parents we need to remember that the benefits from team sports are powerful, long lasting and worth our time and financial investment.
Sadly, not all children have parents willing and able to make such investments in team sports, so I’m happy to join this conversation and help support the Little League Urban Initiative, which helps fund inner-city youth leagues and teams.

The Lessons They Will Learn…

It’s funny how kicking a ball, hitting a ball, or throwing a ball down a field really can be part of learning how to succeed in school, business and even relationships. But isn’t learning like that? The lessons usually don’t come from a book and often are learned far from a classroom.
I think four important lessons that kids get the chance to practice over and over on a playing field are:

  1. How To Fail
    I grew up with a crippling fear of failure.
    I do not exaggerate when I say I had an intense and paralyzing fear of failing. Sure, it made for awesome report cards — I was a straight A student — but it also kept me from taking on challenges where I thought I might not succeed.
    Learning to fail is everything. You cannot meet huge successes without some painful failures. Sure, you might look great on record like I did… but until you can take on challenges that mean you’ll fail along the way, you can’t hit the big wins.
    Where better to learn that a win comes only after many fails than on a field taking shots on a well-guarded goal?
  2. How To Win
    Competition can be a good and healthy way of pushing yourself to reach new levels of success.
    When children are part of a well coached team, they learn that they CAN win when they practice, work hard and operate as a team. Also, hopefully, they learn how to be respectful winners.
  3. How To Be A Leader
    Oh, the sought after qualities of a leader… are people born leaders or can we learn to be leaders?
    I think team sports can give kids a variety of opportunities to take the lead and see themselves stretch as they pull their team together.
  4. How To NOT Be A Leader
    Only one person can lead at a time. Even if you are a great leader, it does NOT mean that you should always be leading.
    There is a time to lead and a time to be led. Being PART of a team means learning to listen to the current leader and follow instructions.

Better To Learn While Playing

Kids have to learn enough lessons while sitting still listening to a teacher. Let’s help them learn, get fit and have fun while playing some good old fashioned games.
I’d love to hear what life lessons YOU think kids learn from playing team sports.

Answer the question “What life lessons do kids learn from playing team sports?” for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate for sporting equipment for your child’s team.

Want to help more children stay active by playing team sports? Go to SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS Auction onEbay. All proceeds go to the Little League Urban Initiative, which helps fund inner-city youth leagues and teams.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS. The opinions and text are all mine. The $500 Gift Certificate Giveaway Contest runs from August 19 – 28, 2011. A random winner will be announced by September 1, 2011. Official Contest Rules