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“The Essence of Sports”

Photo courtesy of The Tee Box Times
Phil Mickelson, in Tulsa.


By Rick Duncan, Publisher

There is a term I have used for decades describing what every aspect of sports can contribute to a child who has a passion for the game, any game. That term is “The Essence of Sports.”

There are many variables that contribute to the character of human beings. Our parents and teachers instill values and passion into our being, whether it applies to our interests or everyday life in society, but one of the most important contributors to one’s character can be athletics and the varying sports with which we come into contact when growing up.

Regardless of what a child’s dreams, passions and interests are, playing sports can easily become that primary contributing factor on how we deal with success, losing, and everyday life as a whole. The very nature of competition, preparation, and learning how to deal with the many conclusions in which competition can result can mold a kid at a young age. In any sport, before, during and after a game or an event, an individual must learn three things: preparation, execution, and what is learned from the results in order to implement the lessons of the loss or the win during the next game or event. It is definitely a cycle, wherein the knowledge you gain from a loss or a win can be applied on a continual basis, enhancing your game performance exponentially. Over time, especially in the long term, the knowledge gained, if used properly, is the primary reason that great athletes are molded.

There is one other trait with which most all great athletes are endowed. That trait can be described as how they handle the success. One universal word you hear about certain players is class, hence he or she is a class act. Every great player I have ever known handles their losses with the same class as they do their victories. I’m sure everyone reading that statement has an athlete come to mind when you mention he or she is a class act. Two examples are Phil Mickelson or Joe Montana, as they are proof that a kid can utilize what they learn in sports and flow that character into real life. After all, everyday life is much like sports, and sound and honest preparation is imperative. Thereafter, execution can dictate who you are and what you have learned.

I had the honor of meeting Coach Tammy Miller recently; she is the new girl’s volleyball coach in Licking. In our discussion, she stated that she attempts to teach the girls that sports is much like real life, which could not be a truer statement. Coach Miller is the epitome of The Essence of Sports and in the coming months, The Licking News is honored to present the same.

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