The Effects of Sports
By Avery M.
The roar of the cheering crowd, the intensity of the daunting challenge, and the thrill of the well-earned win. All of these are reasons why people decide to participate in sports. Whether it be a team sport like basketball, or a lone sport like track, people are willing to sacrifice time and effort to accomplish their athletic goals.
Some may wonder whether or not getting involved in a sport is worth the time and effort it takes. Many, however, would be ready to proclaim that it surely is. In fact, studies have shown that playing sports can have many health benefits. Physical benefits include strong bone development and efficient lung and heart function. In addition to those benefits, playing sports can positively impact motor skills and cognitive function.
On top of the improved mental and physical health that sports may provide, many believe that being involved on a team leads to stronger character. While the effects a sport can have on an individual vary from person to person, one thing is clear: sports have the ability to teach children and adults perseverance, teamwork, and respect.
Long-term sports involvement has proven to affect the lives of players. Alexis Pocza, a goalkeeper for the Siena Heights Women’s Soccer team, can attest to this. When asked about what playing soccer throughout her life has taught her, Pocza said: “I have learned how a team dynamic works and what good coaching looks like, along with how to be the best version of you.” She said that she learned not only how to be competitive and social, but also how to be compassionate.
Pocza has achieved many great accomplishments in her sport, but playing is not all about winning for her. Soccer has been an important part of Pocza’s life, and she made that clear when she said: “Soccer has for sure impacted my life for the better and it is very important for children. It taught me discipline and it kept me healthy and it is a great outlet for feelings.”
Although Pocza plays on the soccer team at her college, she said that she would recommend that people join team sports even if they don’t plan to play professionally. In fact, many adults who played sports in high school believe that the experience built up their character in one way or another. Husband and wife, Dan and Lori Machuk, are two people who believe this sentiment.
Mrs. Machuk ran track at Armada High School, and she feels that what she learned playing sports years ago continues to impact her life to some degree. Mrs. Machuk said that running track taught her that “you’ve got to work hard if you want results.” Mr. Machuk also found that the qualities instilled in him when he played tennis at Flushing High School continue to influence his life. When asked about what he learned from playing tennis, he said: “I would say that playing tennis taught me commitment.”
Clearly, playing sports goes deeper than simple entertainment, and while the intense excitement that athletes get when they play their favorite sport is not a bad thing, it is important to remember that there is so much more to it than simply competing and winning. Sports can be influential, and their impact on children and adults should not be underestimated. From improving physical and mental strength to building character, being involved in a sport can have short- and long-term benefits. Sporting events are important in society, and most would agree that being involved in at least one sport as a child is an unforgettable experience.