What is the definition of a sport? It is, most basically, an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others. However, sports extend far beyond that basic definition because of the amount of dedication and time it takes to perfect sports performance, especially when I think of professional sports, and its value extends far beyond the competitive sphere.
The amount of guidance, discipline, patience, and work ethic it takes to play a sport at a professional level is insane. However, there are many young, talented and eager individuals who yearn for the lifestyles of professional athletes while having no idea what it takes to attain and maintain that lifestyle.
In order for sports to be the awesome entertainment that is so often displayed on television, there have to be athletes with unique abilities to constantly entertain viewers. When I think of professional sports, I first think of the athletes and secondly the dedication it takes to play at that level.
Did you know that many athletes stay away from alcohol and sweets? It makes perfect sense because they have to be in great physical shape in order to be effective. Fortunately, that diet produces perseverance and discipline in their daily lives that also enhances their “game” on the basketball court, baseball field, tennis court, football field or boxing ring.
The word “discipline” is used very often, but many young individuals truly don’t understand how it is applied to the sports world daily. The dictionary definition of “discipline” is a systematic instruction intended to train a person, sometimes literally in a craft, trade or other activity. The amount of discipline it takes to become a professional athlete is extraordinary, and in order for one to become a professional athlete there are key steps that fall under the category of discipline to accomplish that goal.
The key steps to making a dream become a reality in professional sports are, according to buzzle.com: to have a realistic viewpoint, start early, study the sport, attend to health and diet, plan the career professionally, and deal with sports leagues. In order to keep a realistic viewpoint on how to become a professional athlete, one has to assess whether one has the natural abilities to play the sports they are interested in. It is great to have passion for whichever game one is interested in, but it is equally important to have a strong understanding of one’s varied strengths and weaknesses.
Starting early is key, because one can learn at a very young age how to develop discipline. One also has to study the sport, because a strong understanding of every part of the game will enhance awareness and increase one’s ability to be a star player.
Health and diet are very important, because it is known that we are what we eat. If an athlete is not eating well, how can he or she play well? Buzzle.com also states that in order to plan a career professionally, one has to estimate a budget and determine the amount one can afford to spend for taking up a particular sport.
People are not always aware that in order to play a sport or train professionally, families and individuals will have to invest money. It is simpler to think of oneself as a brand, and in order to make that brand appeal to the buyer, one has to be packaged very well. Patience and consistency in any performance clearly increases one’s chances of getting selected to play professionally.
The point of discipline and dedication is stressed throughout this column because sports not only develop those traits but enhance them far beyond a special talent in the game. I think that sport is also an educational tool for so many because by instilling discipline, dedication and growth it encourages young individuals to quickly learn how to apply those attributes in their daily lives.
There are countless athletic scholarships out there that will not only lead to professional sports but also to education for many. So when I think of sport, I just don’t think of it as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others; I think of it as a phenomenal tool to not only educate but also to build character for many.
Julia Toles welcomes reader responses to [email protected]