There is no doubt that an individual experiences personal growth when they have played an athletic sport at some point in their lives. 

The end result of participating in a game, athletic event or a sport is not only about whether you win or lose.  It's not only about the final score.  It's not just about the score that an individual puts up.  It's about the person that you become and the character traits that are built.  It's about the lessons that an individual learns while playing a sport.   

Several years ago, a Penn State University study interviewed 400 executives in the corporate world.  Over 60% of the corporate executives that were interviewed said that playing a sport had a positive impact on their lives.

There are two major traits that a person develops that makes them a better person regardless of whether they play a profession sport or not. 

The first trait that one develops is perseverance.  When playing a sport, there is undoubtedly going to be a obstacle or task that seems quite arduous.  A young track and field athlete develops perseverance and grit by battling through fatigue and pain to do the best that they can in a race.   Even if a person dosent move on to become a track and field at a professional level, that moment will stay with him or her the rest of their lives. 

The trait of perseverance is entirely transferrable for any individual.  It is entirely plausible that an individual who showed perseverance in sport could become a better person in life by using that same trait to achieve success in their career or to overcome significant personal obstacles.  Perseverances can make individuals better. 

Another trait that is developed is the trait of self-discipline.  An athlete develops self-discipline by getting themselves in the best shape possible to help give him or her an edge in a particular sport.  The difference between a good and great baseball player is the self-discipline of a player to put in those extra hours of batting practice or practice in the field.

Self-discipline is transferrable as well.  Individuals can take self-discipline that they develop as young athletes and use that trait to pursue other avenues in life.  If a young hotshot athlete with self-discipline decides that he wants to go in the medical field, it is entirely plausible that he or she will be able to push through in their studies and/or their career. 

It is in this way that athletes can become better people if they don't play on the pro level. 

December 09, 2022 — Jeremiah Oglesby