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Why Play Sports?

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The last post addressed the importance of understanding ‘whys.’ So the next logical ‘why’ is to answer: Why play sports? That question opens a ‘can of worms’ because there are in truth several other questions that need to be answered before the ‘why play’ can really be determined.

For example questions like: Why start playing sports? Why one sport and not another? What motivates a person to play? What would keep a person from playing? The answers to these questions lend a part to reasoning on the answer to: why play sports?

I was speaking with a good friend of mine that has been coaching the sport of softball for a little over ten years. I asked her to answer the question. She responded,

“People play sport according to how they view sport and at a level accordingly. I’ve seen kids go out for teams because their friends play and their dedication reflected that. Likewise I’ve seen kids fight to be on the team and their dedication was paramount. For some people sports are merely recreation and for others it is a passion. It can be a gift, a dream, an opportunity, a haven or vise versa sports for some can be a trap and a curse. It all depends on the individual.”

So I asked her why she played softball, here answer surprised me. I was expecting to hear a remark about her passion for the game or a will and determination to give back but she simply said “it’s medication for my depression.”

That response really got me thinking so I did some research and found a study done in 2004 published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5) by Spalding, Lyndon and Hatfield. It suggested that cardiovascular activity lowered psychological stress better than accepted stress management techniques. Admittedly the specific reasons were not completely understood for this phenomenon but that their results had conclusive implications.

So obvious reasons from just this one study suggest playing has tangible health benefits both mental and physical. In fact there are far more than 9 reasons to play sports especially when the question is addressed to youths. However, we can give a broad blanket reason to answer the question: Why play sports?

Playing sports fulfills psychological and physical needs.

But let’s not forget that playing is a very personal decision with uniquely personal reasons. That brings us full circle to the ‘can of worms’ and the numerous questions that arise to help answer ‘why play sports?’

9 questions that this blog will explore:

1) What are the benefits of playing sports physically?

2) What are the personal benefits?

3) What are the social benefits?

4) What are the emotional implications?

5) Can sports be an addiction or obsession?

6) Are there other avenues that share similar benefits that don’t require participation in sports?

7) What role do external influences have on the decision processes to play sports?

8) What is considered a healthy balanced view of sports and competition?

9) What are the possible effects of not playing?

Sports have become more than just a game.

Source by Nicole Niles

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