By Travis Armideo
While we often hear the phrase, Sports are Religion, what does it really mean? It’s easy to see in terms of being a fan—we are obsessive about our teams and oftentimes treat the athletes like deities. But what about those who actually play sports?
Why do we play sports? Why do we dedicate so much time and energy to thinking about, learning and playing games? Are sports a religion?
Well, as you likely know, sports are more than simple games. There are real, tangible reasons for loving and playing sports. Athletics may be time consuming, difficult to learn and painful to train for, physically and mentally taxing, and typically come with large financial commitments. Even so, there are reasons why we persevere and continue to play them.
Why is playing sports so important?
Play for Your Health
Health-related reasons for playing sports are pretty self-explanatory, as athletics are a great way to keep active, stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter what the sport, all athletics help your body get the exercise it wants and needs. And even the simplest sports require some athletic training to play competitively.
From youth programs to young professional sports clubs in cities across the country, it’s important for people of all ages to stay active and moving. Whether that’s through freeze tag on a playground, softball with your colleagues after work or, yes, strapping on the gear for a game of ice hockey, playing sports keeps you healthy.
Play for Your Friends
While there are many benefits to playing individual sports, team sports are also rewarding in a number of ways. Between making friendships that last a lifetime and learning how to work with others, team sports help build valuable social skills.
While individual achievements are great, there’s something extra special about a group of individuals working toward one common goal. There are many factors and variables that go into achieving a shared goal, and working with a team helps you learn more about yourself—what you excel at or what areas aren’t your strengths.
Playing a sport as a team is one of the best ways to learn how to work in a group and how to communicate. It’s also an important lesson that helps you in every phase of life, from school to your career, to your marriage. But teamwork isn’t the only important thing sports teach you…
Play for Your Future
Sports teach us a number of valuable life lessons, beyond being a good teammate: hard work, humility, discipline, integrity, and sportsmanship.
It’s through sports that we learn tough lessons, like how to deal with loss or how to win with grace. Sports teach us the discipline necessary to learn new skills. Sports are humbling and teach empathy, but also help to build up self-worth and self-confidence. They teach us about our own strengths and weaknesses.
Why do we play sports? From fun with friends to staying healthy and learning new life skills, sports are an important part of being a well-rounded person. Most importantly, we play them to learn how to be human—to learn, to grow, to win, to lose, to feel. That’s what makes sports a religion.
Travis Armideo is the Lead Marketing Specialist at Gladiator Custom Mouthguards