Home Life: Life Lessons from Sports
by Diane Burton
For the past several Saturdays, I watched our oldest grandson (9) play basketball. The kid loves sports. So far, he’s played football, baseball (my game), and now basketball (daughter’s game). In those sports, the kids learn some valuable life lessons. Perhaps I wasn’t as attuned to these lessons with the other sports as much as basketball.
Team work. We aren’t good at everything. Some of us can run and dribble the ball, some can pass well, and others are better at shooting and getting the ball through the hoop. Of course, nine-year-olds are still learning. Good coaches teach them the basics and with practice they improve. Hopefully. Besides, nobody likes a ball hog. So, the boys learn to pass the ball to an open man.
In life, we often work in groups (teams). We can’t do it all. Some people prefer going alone. They want to be judged on their own efforts and no one else’s. True as that is, if we don’t work well with others, we don’t advance. We ask for, and accept, help from others. We also give it. By working together, we make the team (or company) better.
Learning from failure. Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed. I found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” He also said, “If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.”
Basketball and football are aggressive games. Players fall. In life, we often fall. Our success depends on whether we get back up again. On this past Saturday (the last game), many boys fell. They scrambled up and got back into the game. Isn’t that what we should do? Get up and get back into the game?
As the nine-year-old boys raced from one end of the basketball court to the other, they had one goal—put the ball into the hoop. “He shoots…he misses.” But, does he give up? Does he sit down on the floor and cry because the ball hit the rim and bounced off? Of course not. He tries again. His teammates try to rebound. They chase the kid from the other team who races off with the ball and they try again. And this happens over and over in four ten-minute quarters.
It isn’t that winning isn’t important. Even though they (technically) don’t keep score at this age (until the playoffs), trust me, the boys know the score. They know how well they did as a team. They don’t give up. They don’t quit until the whistle blows.
Those are many life lessons we could all use.
About the Author
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband.
Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
You can read Diane’s “Family Life” column on the 3rd Wednesday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.