sports fan, and I love playing, cheering and coaching them. Soccer, football,
skiing, boxing, volleyball, golf, basketball and hockey all have provided me with
countless hours of enjoyment. If you're a fan, you know there's also been a
large share of heartbreaking moments sprinkled in there too! What I am increasingly
struck by as I get older is the life lessons sports have given me. I know a few
people who say it's a waste of time, but nothing is farther from the truth.
never been what anyone would call gifted at any particular sport. I would be
picked near the middle of the pack in gym class in almost everything. In
elementary school and up, I wasn't given any red ribbons for track and field,
and until I played hockey, I never received more than a participation trophy
for anything. The first organized sport I was involved in was Tae Kwon Do, and
I never won a sparring match. Regardless of my lack of killer instinct, I
followed our leaders' instructions and worked my way up to a blue belt. That
was in grade four. By grade five, my neighbours convinced me that my prowess at
street hockey would translate onto the ice, so despite barely being able to
skate, I joined organized hockey.
this all have to do with trucking? Well… nothing and everything. Honestly, I
hadn't given it much thought until a recent run of audiobooks I listened to on
sports figures. It started with "Open" by Andre Agassi, an astounding
tale of a man who made an incredibly successful career in tennis despite hating
the sport! His father had a crazy obsession with making him the best which
drove him to be the best, despite his complete disdain for the sport. It rid me
of any and all thoughts that my parents should have pushed me harder.
read "Burke's Law" about NHL GM and analyst Brian Burke. It was absolutely
fascinating to read about the failures and successes that came together to make
him a Harvard-educated lawyer who ended up working for both the players and the
was "You Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. I can't imagine there are
more than a handful of people in this world that have endured a tougher
upbringing, let alone used that as motivation to become one of the world's
foremost endurance athletes. Oh, and I forgot to mention he succeeded in
completing training as a Navy Seal and an Army Ranger, finding out only after
several ultra-marathons that he did it all with a congenital heart defect that
could have killed him at any time!
recently finished Mark Messier's "No One Wins Alone" and Stu Grimson's
"The Grim Reaper." This isn't a book report, so suffice it to say
those were both great reads and windows into the minds of very different types
of NHL players.
made me think about all the traits and life lessons sports have taught me. One
of my friends once told me my golf game only suffered from Loft. When I
questioned him, he smiled and said it meant a lack of F'n talent! Hmm, that
pretty much describes my problem in most games, but it also helps me. You see,
a lack of God-given ability has required me to work harder just to be
proficient. If you're willing to work that hard at play, you will most
definitely do the same in work.
If you take
playing the games or any actual athletic endeavour out of it and are a fan,
coach, manager or official, there are many lessons here too. Organizational
skills, teamwork, leadership, camaraderie, loyalty the list goes on. If you
have ever participated in or cheered on the sidelines of any sport, pat
yourself on the back. The benefits of the practice go far deeper than mere
exercise and adrenaline!