When I was a manager and looking to hire new employees, I would ask if they play sports. Now, I fully realize that playing sports doesn’t really guarantee that person would be a successful employee but that’s really the point, isn’t it?
You see, to me, sports are the perfect microcosm for life. People who play sports know success, failure and everything in between. More importantly, they know how to prepare by training, film watching, or studying their opponent. Also, and perhaps most importantly, they know that in order to be successful, they have to do all the little things that other people aren’t willing to do.
Lastly, it’s been said that sports build character but it also reveals a lot about someone’s character. How you react in the face of adversity and how you respond when you’re on the losing end are all great indicators of someone who enjoys the challenges and thrills of competition and aren’t fearful of what the “real world” has to offer. Instead, they embrace the opportunity.
Which brings us to the impact the local high school sports teams have on their respective communities. Watching the various teams march through their playoffs and either ultimately reaching their final goal or falling a little bit short, these teams unite their communities with a sense of pride that can only be felt through the sports world.
Seeing the parents bursting with pride when their kids do well and consoling their kids when disappointment strikes are just two of the aspects that make sports special.
The excitement of the community as they parade to the games is such a uniquely special feeling. Those feelings of pride and excitement get magnified on each successive step as the teams march through their respective playoffs. It’s more than just wins and losses though. It’s the signs in the store fronts, the sea of respective colors and the anticipation of that next game that brings these tiny towns to life.
Is too much emphasis placed on sports? I’ll let you answer that question according to your own viewpoint. Anytime we can rally our communities for a common purpose or anytime the youth are striving towards a positive goal, I’d argue that sports serve a vital role for our communities. The lessons they learn by playing, by competing, and working hard will serve them well.
Perhaps the outside world can take its cue from the sports world where the only real question is, “Can you play?” Of course, any competitor's response is going to be something like “Just watch me!”