Opinion: Many life lessons youth can learn from sport
- Alyson Bear | May 29, 2018
I was very fortunate growing up to be able to have the opportunity to play many different sports. I honestly do not know where I would be without sports in my life. I think it is important for our youth to be able to play sports and create friendships and have other adult figures as mentors and role models.
Unfortunately, there are many roadblocks to have that opportunity to play sports as well. Not everyone has the same opportunities nor the same number of obstacles to achieving something that some might be born with. Speaking from experience, sports or arts is something all youth need to have in their life. Sports have always been healing in my life.
I grew up playing hockey, soccer, karate, basketball, volley-ball and track & field. I have made numerous friends who I am very grateful to have met and created some lifelong friendships. Hockey and soccer were my main sports and one thing you learn to do on a team is be a team player, which is something truly important to learn for life in general. Learning how to win humbly and learning how to lose without being bitter is not always easy and not all teams you play on will teach you that, but it is a very important lesson to be learned nonetheless.
Life is full of ups and downs and unforeseen circumstances which is exactly what playing a sport will usually show us, that you need to be prepared for whatever might happen, because we have no control over the other team. We only have control over ourselves. This is exactly like life, we have no control over other people, we only have control over ourselves and our own choices. When we hold expectations too high in life or for a game, we usually wind up disappointed, but when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we understand that there can be many different outcomes and it might not be the one we planned but most of the time when we learn to take a minute to appreciate it all we find out we got a lot more out of it. The friends we have made, the skill we have gained and the discovering of our own self and what we like and do not like and what we are capable of. It is so much more than just a game and for me it was a place I could try my hardest and release a lot of built up emotions I did not know what to do with.
Now it is time I pass the baton onto my children. I cannot wait to be a soccer/hockey mom. As busy as I know my life already is and will definitely continue to get, there is nothing that compares to witnessing my children light up when they score their first goal and being there for them when they lose their first big tournament. Teaching my kids to skate, snowboard and golf is all on the agenda and I cannot wait for my babies to be shredding next to me on the mountain. The ultimate goal is to be able to coach at least one team both my kids play on. It is nice to see my brothers coaching together in the winter games as we all grew up playing in the Winter and Summer Saskatchewan Indian Games.
The only thing I ever really regret in my life was when my focus of sports shifted to a focus of partying in my teen years when I really could have kept going if I had chosen to focus on healthy choices for myself.
I was in a near fatal car accident at 17 where the driver was drunk and I had to quit all the sports I was playing and it was devastating. Sports have never been the same since, but that does not mean you give up the stuff you love, you just find another way.
If you have the opportunity to join a team, do not pass it up. It might be hard to start out because you are shy or do not have too much confidence in yourself in that certain skill, but I can guarantee you will not regret joining that team and the friendships you will make or the skill you will attain and that is something you can take with you forever.
Every child deserves to enjoy those kinds of moments, memories and friendships made through the love of a certain sport.
I just wanted to acknowledge the tragedy that happened last month and our thoughts and prayers are with the Humboldt Broncos, those who have passed on to the spirit world, those who are healing and those who have lost their family member or friend, my heart aches and it is something I could never imagine.