From my most recent article at WorldMag.com:
Every day I think about sports. Yes, I think about them as a fan. (The Minnesota Twins just called up their best power-hitting prospect!) But in a more meaningful way I think about all they taught me growing up. I apply them in my work, my parenting, and my marriage. I played sports as a child and teen because I loved them. I didn’t realize at the time they were a master class in life. Here are eight lessons I learned.
- Humility: Nobody is bigger than the team. Winning doesn’t make you better than anyone. And pride leads to apathy and failure. Stay humble and remember the value of those on your team to you and how much you rely on them.
- Teamwork: . . .
- Practice: Now I just call this work, the labor it takes to make results happen. It was a grind as a kid and is often a grind now, but without it nothing good gets accomplished. Practice (work) is the foundation on which success is built.
- Preparation: . . .
- Losing well: Life is hard, almost as hard as playing on that terrible “Cops for Kidz” park league team when I was 9. The losses pile up. Learning to be gracious, resilient, persistent, and persevering is essential.
- Winning well: Success is worth celebrating but not rubbing in anyone’s face. And it is never, ever license for laziness. The only way to keep succeeding is to keep working. Winning that doesn’t beget work is cheap.
- Leading by example: . . .
- The value of good leadership: I played for many bad coaches and a few good ones. The first group could take a talented team and help them underperform. The latter group could lift mediocrity to victory. A strong leader makes a world of difference.
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