How sports taught me valuable lessons in life

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I still remember vividly, the day that sports made its presence in my life.

It was back in my primary school, when I was in standard 4 or 5 or so (around 10-11 years of age). Of course being one of the playful students, a teacher approached me when my friends and I were busy playing during recess time, and asked me whether I am interested to join the school hockey team.

The only thing I knew at that moment was there is a long stick involved (the hockey stick). But then, I still said yes. I think back then part of me saying yes would be because of my adventurous nature and I have not had an experience playing in a team sports before (I was mostly involved in sprinting, but I was not one of the good sprinters).

Next thing I know, I was part of the hockey and the handball school team, and I continued to play until I finished high school. I continued to sprint though but just until the end of primary school.

Playing sports has definitely made it as my most cherished experience in school, it was just plain fun, and lots of adrenaline (especially during tournaments) and most of all, i acquired plenty of life lessons.

As I grew older I realized that sports have shaped an integral part of my personality. Through sports I learned the meaning of responsibility, teamwork and working hard to reach my goals. In a team sport I was assigned to a specific position with specific roles, and how important my task is to the rest of the team. We were working towards the same goal, literally. And I can reflect all those into my personal life and personal goals so easily.

Playing sports also taught me to be more disciplined while experiencing anger and envy. When the team lose, I felt the disappointment, the envy towards the winning team and if some of them were so mean and played rough, I felt angry towards them. But at the same time, the spirit of sportsmanship forced me to keep my emotions intact, learning that it is OK to acknowledge the feeling and deciding on how to react to it in the most rational way. Yeah on and off we may lose it, but it’s all part of the learning process.

I remember one day our hockey coach made us jog a bloody long distance, and I am sure all he wanted to teach us was perseverance. It paid of very well though, in the next game our stamina improved a lot and we were able to fight harder. That only taught me that perseverance pays off well.

I could write on and on and reminisce about my school sports days, a lot of sweet and bad memories. And one of the most significant ones would be the MILO van, each and every student was looking forward to sports day because we get to enjoy free and yummy MILO drinks.

Realizing the common association, I think MILO has made the right move to continue to promote learning through play; something that I believe will fade away if we don’t pass it on to our children. These days children are too occupied with gadgets and technologies, a new way of having fun, but unfortunately losing the most important teacher: EXPERIENCE.

I am an avid supporter of learning through play and sports, because I have been there and I have learned a lot from it. Children’s nature is to be playful and curious, and through enough playtime we are in fact allowing them to learn and grow according to how they are supposed to.

{Click on the picture to view original size}
MILO® PLAY MORE,LEARN MORE®, is a nationwide campaign developed by Nestle MILO® in 2009, has been dedicated in building stronger understanding among Malaysians on the importance of
balancing life well-being and play.

So come, join me and promote play and sports to your children. It’s OK if you were not a sportsman once, the important thing is that we realize the value that it brings, and how it can shape our children’s attitude into a more positive one. Balance out playtime and formal learning time, trust me, it is much better than keeping your children stuck with their books all day.

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