As a child of two athletes, I was bound to be immersed in the world of sports. Starting at the age of 4, I began playing basketball on a league team during the winter. Next, would be soccer in the spring. After a summer of swimming in the pool every week, fall baseball would begin. I would play one sport for 3 months with new coaches and team members. This cycle of events continued up until I was 11 years old. For 7 years, I had bounced around different teams, states, and leagues. I wasn’t able to stay in one spot for long enough before we had to move again. Not being able to connect with team members outside of the 3 months that I knew them was very challenging for me.
It wasn’t until school sports that everything changed. The first school sport I played was volleyball in 7th grade. It was completely different from anything that I had ever experienced. The amount of time that you spend with your teammates is far greater than any league team. In a school sport, you see your teammates all day during school, in the hallways, and at lunch. You develop deeper relationships with the people you compete with.
Being an Army brat, I didn’t have the time to develop deep relationships with kids my age. Yes, I had friends and could make them quickly, but I never had a larger connection. Playing sports has helped me develop the social skills needed to be a functioning member of society. As you get older, the friendships you have in high school and college will most likely be lifelong. Finding common interests and hobbies with others will greatly influence your future.