Enjoying the Game

For some people, the best part of sports is that they represent a microcosm of life in general. Have you ever wondered why so many politicians and high profile CEOs were such good athletes earlier in life? The short answer is that the discipline to be successful in sports as an athlete is quite similar to the drive that is required to be successful later on in life. Many U.S. presidents, for example, were standout stars in college. Former President Ford was on two national championship football teams at Michigan and took home the MVP in 1934. That’s just one example of a famous and powerful individual that was also a legitimate threat on the sports field.

You have to enjoy the gameWhen we watch our favorite team play, then, it’s not just about athletics and about the strategy that it takes to be a winner. It’s the fact that it is a small slice of the power and determination that sports represent. After all, the Olympic games in Greece began as a way to help warriors prepare for battle. Each sport stemmed from some aspect of war. Runners were those that carried messages to and from the battlefield. Throwers launched rocks and other heavy items at opposing troops. Chariot races were one form of how people traveled during fights. Sports took that and created formal rules, making it fun and a competition. We don’t often think about that while we are watching a NASCAR race, but that’s where it all started.

What do you love about sports? Athletes often say that they aren’t in it to compete against others, but rather, are trying to better themselves a little bit at a time. This is a valid argument. Many people begin playing a sport trying to be the best at their school, then the best in their conference, and eventually, they realize that it doesn’t matter what happens as long as they keep improving their own selves. No one will ever be a perfect athlete, so finding an area to focus on and attempting to get better and better at it is all that top athletes can do.

Of course, you don’t see any of this preparation or mindset when you’re watching a game. You just see the excitement and profound athleticism that marks a professional. This is quite exciting, but learning a little bit about what goes on behind everything makes it that much more enjoyable. Sports Illustrated recently ran an article about what has made Tom Brady such a great athlete. He has his routine planned out for months in advance down to the last minute. Everything that he eats is carefully chosen and every single exercise he performs during the offseason is selected by a team of professionals. In other words, his success on the field comes from countless hours of preparation. After reading this, watching him play in the Super Bowl was much more enjoyable for many fans, even if they hate the Patriots. Just having a glimpse at what life is like for the best on an average day helps to accomplish this.

Whatever it is you enjoy about sports, there’s probably a lot more going on behind the scenes than what you first thought. There’s a reason why the games are so popular, and it’s not just because they are fun to watch. Sports truly are a small representative of what goes on in real life. It doesn’t matter if you are a successful businessman, or if you have aspirations to be a famous artist. The drive that it takes to be a success is translatable into the real world, and this is something that has been demonstrated time and time again.