Sports teach important life skills and shouldn’t be undermined
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
There are too many people out there who love to hate sports—people who get off on hating the very idea of sports or anything sports-related.
Indeed, the quality of their hate is so potent that doing a quick Google search of “sports suck” will bring up the official homepage of the “International I Hate Sports Club.” On their website, they claim to be “dedicated to the eradication of sports and the imprisonment of sports fans.” The organization doesn’t hate all physical activity but does decry societal worship of professional and organized sports. Of course, some of this might be hyperbole or satire, but it also reflects some of the attitudes of people out there who actively hate on athletics. To those people I ask, what did sports ever do to you?
What is so wrong with enjoying watching athletes dribble a ball around or hit it with a stick? I may not be well-versed in these kinds of recreational activities, but I understand enough to know that it’s good entertainment and playing sports can actually teach a lot of valuable life lessons. You don’t have to participate in or watch any sports, but it’s important to understand why they are so popular and how they can be beneficial.
On top of staying active, being involved in physical activities helps to develop a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship. In many situations, knowing how to work within a group and working together to achieve a common goal is an important skill. In short, teamwork makes the dream work. Sports also teaches you how to get along with others, how to problem-solve independently and within a team, and how to build discipline, respect, and improved concentration. It’s also a great self-esteem booster if you win a game, or it can encourage you to try harder if you lose.
Furthermore, being involved in a little competitive sport is healthy for us. Competition motivates us to be better or to perform at a higher level, and sometimes we can surprise ourselves with what we can accomplish. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and I can attest to that. Just last year I joined a dodgeball league and was surprised at how fast I segued from terrified to balls to the wall (literally). I was also pleased at how much hitting people with rubber balls boosted my confidence. I think anyone who hates sports has just never played one or been involved with a team before, otherwise they would see how great it is.
Furthermore, athletes put a lot of skill and hard work into it, so as a viewer it’s unfair to diminish that effort just because you’re not a fan of athletics.
So, let’s stop dismissing the importance of organized sports, and while we’re at it, let’s stop making fun of people who just like to watch them as well. People watch sports for the same reasons that people watch RuPaul’s Drag Race—it’s just good entertainment, so let them enjoy it.