By J.A. Sharpe
Everyone has different interests. Some people love to read; others love to watch movies.
Some people want to spend their days looking at art in museums and galleries, while others would rather be surrounded by nature out in the wilderness. There’s nothing to say that any of these things are better or worse than anything else and most people are pretty happy to live and let live when it comes to other people’s likes and dislikes.
However, there’s one thing that is so contentious that people often end up in screaming arguments over it.
That thing is, of course, sports. Sports is one of those things that very few people would ever say that they were entirely neutral on. Often you either love them, or you can’t stand them. For those who love them, there is nothing more exhilarating than the rush that comes with playing or watching their favorite sport.
People get invested in their favorite teams and have a genuine emotional connection to them. However, for people who hate sports, the whole thing just seems bizarre. They wonder why you would want to get to together to watch other people kick a ball around, and they can’t understand the fun of running around getting hot and sweaty.
Of course, you’re entitled to like and dislike just about anything, but it’s strange that so many people treat sports as this huge monolith when in reality that term encompasses so many different things that almost everyone can find something to enjoy about it.
With that in mind, if you’re the kind of person who reflexively recoils at the very idea of sports in any form, here are some reasons why you might actually be able to get more out of it than you think.
Being active is one of the most important things in life. If you spend every single day slouching around on the couch, then you’re just going to end up feeling tired and miserable.
However, one of the major issues that a lot of people have when it comes to staying fit and healthy is finding the motivation actually to do it. Having a sport that you play is one of the very best ways to find that motivation.
You have a reason to get up and do something active and will be able to stay much more mentally engaged than if you were just in the gym spending twenty minutes running in place on a treadmill or lifting weights. There are plenty of sports that are fantastic ways to keep you active, from soccer to basketball, even to things like golf.
If you’re looking for a way to motivate yourself to get out and start doing more exercise, then finding a sport that you enjoy is one of the very best ways to do just that.
Being a part of a team
One of the most important and least considered skills that everyone should have is the ability to work within a team.
A lot of modern cultures is aggressively individualistic and is based around exclusively trying to get what you want, even if that’s at the expense of other people. However, one thing that sports can teach you is the importance of being a part of a team.
If you’re not able to communicate effectively, prioritize what’s best for everyone, and compromise for the sake of the people around you, then you’re never going to be able to succeed. Not just in sports, but in real life as well. This is the kind of skill that employers look for, as well as having an impact on your personal life.
Your ability to sustain friendships and romantic relationships often comes down to how well you can function as part of a unit and your ability to think about people other than yourself. These are incredibly important life skills, and you can learn all of them by playing a sport as part of a team on a regular basis.
Finding a passion
One thing that a lot of people find frustrating about their adult life is that they don’t feel as though they are that passionate about anything. Sure, the have things that they like, and that they care about, but nothing that they could see themselves getting totally obsessed with.
For far too many people their life is just made up of a pattern of constantly having to go from working to sitting in the front of the TV and back again.
It’s enough to leave a lot of people feeling very unhappy overall.
However, getting involved with some kind of sport is a fantastic way to give yourself that sense of passion and focus that it might previously have lacked.
Even if your relationships with sports starts with kicking a ball around with some friends or hitting the green every couple of weeks, over time, you could end up being a part of a regular team that competes in official matches, or spending hours online looking for the best golf wedges 2017.
Human beings are designed to become passionate, borderline obsessed, with things. It’s one of the reasons why so many people become so skilled at things. Finding something that you can really embrace is a fantastic way to feel as though you’ve given your life that extra little bit of meaning.
It today’s, hyper-individualist world, there’s one thing that is tragically lost for a lot of people, and that’s a sense of community. Once upon a time, your community was made up of the people around you.
People lived in towns and villages and often stayed in the same place for their entire lives, coming to know people incredibly well.
Now, that’s not to say that this was somehow better than the way people live their lives now, it simply means that people find themselves needing to discover a sense of community in different places instead. There are few ways to feel more closely connected to other people than to find yourselves linked by a shared passion for something.
Even if you’re not that much of a sports fan, spend the day watching sports with a group of people who are all really passionate about it. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find that the energy and sense of togetherness that comes from these people and their passion for the sport are incredibly infectious. You may even find yourself cheering along with them before you even realize that it’s happening.
In the same way that playing sports can help to learn to be part of a team, watching them with friends, and even strangers, can help you feel like you’re really a part of a community.
For a lot of people, the mechanics of sports aren’t all that important. Sure, they’ll keep track of the scores and the other metrics by which sporting success is measured, but those aren’t the things that get them leaping up and down at an amazing goal or sobbing at a lost match.
Instead, the things that make people do that are the stories around the sports.
These stories are often just as fascinating, engaging, and nuanced as the ones that you might find in great works of literature or Hollywood blockbusters. They’re stories about triumph snatched from the jaws of defeat; they’re the stories about how working your entire life for something can help you achieve your dreams, even if it takes a long time.
They’re stories about the fact that, even if you don’t take home the gold, by giving everything that you have, you’re able to stand tall and be proud of what you achieved. These are the things that make people passionate, if not utterly obsessed, with their favorite sports teams and players.
If you can find the stories in a sports match or the narrative in one team’s journey from the bottom to the top, then you’re going to be in a much better position to understand exactly why people care about sports so much.
And who knows, you might even find yourself sharing in the passion a little bit.
Of course, there’s always a chance that, even with all of these things, sports just aren’t going to hold any interest for you. If that’s the case, then that’s just fine!
After all, everyone is different, and if everyone liked the exact same things, then life would probably be a lot less interesting.
However, hopefully, this list will, at the very least, help you understand exactly why so many people feel so passionate about something you personally don’t’ enjoy. Not only that but it may even give you a better idea of why you love the things that you love so much.
So the next time someone asks if you like sports, rather than turning up your knows, you can acknowledge their passion and at least try to find some common ground, instead of dismissing their favorite pastime altogether.
At the very least, it might save you from getting in a shouting match with your friend the next time you’re having a drink together.