Hassan H

Yunus Social Business

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Sport as a school of life: What Values, Virtues and Principles Sports teach us ?

Dear TED Family,

I often talk about how Sport is the perfect environment to develop some of life’s most needed skills.

I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you about how Sports helped you to develop positive inner strength, enhance Human qualities and reinforce social bounds.

I am looking forward to hearing your stories and lessons learned !

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    Nov 23 2013: I was a very late it coming to sport. Since turning 30 I'd started going to the gym and doing a couple of running races, but I wasn't seriously involved in sport, it was just about general heath and weight loss.

    Then in March last year the love of my life ended our relationship. I felt that I had lost everything that had mattered to me, and needed to find some way to rebuild. So I decided to join a running club shortly afterwards as a means of taking a positive step forward. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I had something that was totally mine, a part of my life that he had never touched. The running club is a Meetup, which means that it has a dynamic membership. As a result I was constantly meeting new, wonderful, interesting, generous people, some of whom a count amongst my close friends. Sport brought a structure into my life, it gave me focus and the physical strength to hold my life together while my psychological strength was lacking.

    Through this, I made it through a very very difficult time in my life and running is no longer a crutch, it is simply a joy. I've learned and continue to discover so many things about myself by running. I realised that I knew myself very well as a person in a cognitive sense, but had very little awareness of my own physicality. While I occasionally engage in races, running is the least competitive aspect of my life. As a recovering perfectionist it has been an excellent means of learning not to be the best, but the value of being the best that I can be. That sometimes you have to stop or you will hurt yourself and that is a sign of strength and wisdom, not weakness or failure. I have learned to take care of myself, to listen to the advice of those more experienced than me. I have become a runner, not someone who runs, and I can't imagine living my life as anyone else.
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    Nov 27 2013: A personal experience: I was quite an anxious person well into into my early twenties. A dear friend of mine saw me suffering and for years he told me :"You should come surfing, it will relax you and do a lot of good for you!".
    I was sceptic; not too fond of them 'dudes' and the cold water (I lived in Netherlands, so to me the waves looked like crap anyway)..
    After 4 years I decided to try it out. It was the hardest thing ever, and more then fighting whatever mother nature threw at me, it was a personal fight. After a few weeks trying to catch waves in Holland, and catching my first small waves, I went to Costa Rica for 6 weeks. I was thrown in paradise and hell at the same time: 2 meter waves minimum for all this time, and I literary almost died trying. It took me 2 weeks to finally being able to paddle to the outside, and another two weeks of thoroughly having my ass kicked untill I surfed my first serious wave in paradise. It was the hardest fight of my life, with the sweetest victory imageneable! I felt fear and beauty. I felt personal confrontations and priceless rewards.
    I lived in the fringe of the jungle and didn't look in the mirror for 6 weeks, and after these 6 weeks I arrived in a hotel before flying back home, looked in the mirror for the first time, and my body was completely transformed! I felt strong, confident and more important, I felt completely relaxed, so also my mind had changed. Small things that bothered the hell out of me before did nothing to me, I was more positive and reflected this to my environment. So my environment was much nicer to me aswell. I didn't feel the anger towards the world, and I didn't feel like a victim anymore.
    The physical activity, combined with being so close to nature might even have saved my life. Whenever I don't give my body it's essential activity I become more and more negative, thus reflecting this to my environment.
    I hope this story can inspire someone like my friend inspired me, and maybe even saved my life
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    Nov 20 2013: I think nowadays people especially in China pay less and less attention to letting their children do enough physical exercise because of the heavy studying task. Your topic has reminded me of my happy childhood when I was always running about on the playground with my classmates after every class or in the P.E. classes. After school, after I had finished my homework(I was always very fast and efficient because I wanted to play more), I often called my classmates out house by house to play together in the lane in our neighborhood( they did the same if they finished earlier). One of my favorite subjects in my primary and middle school was P.E., through which I could relax myself with laughing while playing all kinds of games and horsing around with my classmates or schoolmates.When I could play well, I slept well and I felt happier and more energetic with my study. And when I was in my Grade 4 I was picked out by a badminton coach to join the sports school in my district. I had my badminton training for over 2years, being trained for 2-3hrs a day with a large amount of physical exercises, during which I experienced some hard time when my willpower and mental health was greatly developed. These good memories really have influenced me when I grew up and met with some difficulties or unhappy things in life. And doing sports requires you to concentrate more on your actions and performances. So it also helped me to raise a good habit to be more focused and efficient when doing things. And another very important thing is it gave me a very good physical and mental condition to prepare myself better for my future. I learned how to deal with the relationship with others during playing as well as solve the problems by myself. I can say doing sports really can change people for the better in every aspect. I do hope today's children especially our Chinese children do regular sports with their classmates or friends instead of sitting there playing mobile phones or PC games.
  • Nov 18 2013: 1. There are the privileged few and the worthless many.
    2. The privileged few get high social status and better conditions for doing something that is not actually useful.
    3. The privileged few are allowed to push around the worthless many.
    4. One of the worthless many may gain some status by being a lackey of the privileged few.
    5. There is no justice when one of the privileged few confronts one of the worthless many.
    6. Rules do not apply to the privileged few, only to the worthless many.
    7. Standards do not apply to the privileged few, only to the worthless many.

    These are the lessons that sports taught me, as a member of the worthless many.
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      Nov 23 2013: I really think that you bring up the most overlooked perspective of sports Bryan.
      Almost everyone seems to just think about sports as something positive, not even reflecting about eventual negative consequences it may bring to society.

      I'm all for play and fun and exercise and that was likely the way sports used to be once, but that's in no way the things sports promote today as I see it.

      It promotes elitism, Us-vs-Them-thinking, and only provide exercise for those who are already fit, the ones that aren't physically fit are discouraged from participating because they bring the rest down...

      I believe that there are some sports that don't promote these values as much but all of the main sports tend to bring this mindset.

      Sorry to bash on all the people that view sports as the big salvation for human health and good moral values.
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          Nov 23 2013: It is useful that you bring up the spectator, who had until your post been omitted from the discussion.

          Your post raised to me a dimension parallel to the one some have mentioned that competitive sport can have a quite different effect on those who are good at it than on those who feel marginalized or shunned by peers for not being good enough to make a competitive contribution. Both types of experience have been represented in the comments in the thread.

          You quote one theorist who puts forward that the violence of the sport is positively correlated with the pleasure to participant and viewer. But for the many who find that sort of violence truly repelling, being within a very sports focused milieu can be isolating and negative.

          (This is distinct from non-competitive physical activities, which promote good health and typically positive feelings).
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          Nov 23 2013: Theodor,

          Your argument is "ad populum" and does not confirm anything except that it's something people do...

          I can't find anything on The Catharsis Theory by Konrad Lorenz, however his theory on aggression seems to concern some of these aspects, but I fail to see any of his thesis's as anything resembling a theory... Check the criticism to understand why.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Aggression#Criticism
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          Nov 23 2013: Theodor,

          I thought that you meant to make it an argument of proof (or rather one supporting it), that's the way I read it.

          And I do not consider my argument to be ad populum since an ad populum argument is designed to "prove" that something is true because many find it so. When I say "Almost everyone seems" it is rather the reverse of an ad populum argument. I'm not siding with the majority here, how could it possibly be ad populum?

          I believe that behavior mostly promotes more of the same behavior (and I can give you the TED Talks to support this if you haven't seen it) and therefore I take the position that it " promotes aggressive behavior"
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          Nov 24 2013: Moving on.

          Yes, of course(?)

          Teaching is providing education/knowledge/skill.
          Learning is obtaining it.

          Semantics make up the meaning of things, without them it's just gibberish...

          Sport does both, the coaches and such teach (as do player to each other) and the practitioners learn.

          What do you mean by "...raises the issue of active intent and passive circumstance." do you mean to say that sport means well but might not always succeed or am I getting it wrong?
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    Nov 18 2013: Hassan, The sport itself does not do any of those things ... the sport is a vehicle, a tool, that when use properly can accomplish the things you speak of. The people around you during this building process are the most important influences ... parents, coaches, teachers, other players, and the student athlete himself. I have seen some become successes and some become bullies ... the sport did not make them either.

    The coach in Utah that suspended the whole team for failing grades, bulling, threats, and poor conduct and character ... was on the right track. One in thousands will go on to college level sports, one in millions will go on to professional / Olympics levels .... he brought them back to earth and emphasized what is truly important. Education and character are for a lifetime.

    As a coach I teach kids to enjoy sports and often have one who excels and it is my duty to see they remain well grounded.

    At the college and pro levels winning is everything ... losers are history. College athletes are cash cows for the school ... in football few that go to the pros are graduates. I saw a chart last week that showed the highest paid people in colleges by state ... almost all of them were coaches. Even colleges do not reward teachers. A poor reflection on our society.

    In short ... the body is a temple .... how you build it mentally and physically will determine the strength, endurance, and longevity of the body. Character, respect, and honesty are cornerstones.

    I love sports ... not the gladiator spectacle it is becoming.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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    Nov 16 2013: I agree Hassan, that sports offer an opportunity to develop some life skills. I have skied since I was a kid, and being in the mountains, with friends was a very pleasant, invigorating experience. One of the guys had a great big old van, and every weekend a bunch of us would head to the mountains. It was great exercise, and provided the foundation for social interactions. Many of the same friends had summer camps, so we hung out there, swam, waterskied and spent lots of time in the warmth of the sun enjoying each others company:>)

    When I had kids, I taught them to ski (downhill and x-country) and swim, so we enjoyed the sports together. At age 30, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in the spine, which can be a disabling progressive condition. Rather than accept the advice of the doctor to have surgery to fuse the back, I decided to deal with the condition holistically. I decided to learn some sports that would strengthen the muscular system to support the degenerating spine.

    So, I started playing tennis, volleyball and sailboat racing, all of which eventually got to a competitive level. Horseback riding was a love of mine, and I did that periodically, owning my own horse for a few years as a young adult. In between times, I explored snorkeling, and liked it so much, I took up scuba diving as a certified diver.

    As I aged, tennis and volleyball became a little too challenging physically for the body, so I changed directions to bicycling, hiking, walking, and I continue to ski as much as possible in the winter.

    Sports strengthen the body/mind, encourage patience and determination, team sports provide a great lesson in working together toward a certain goal, it provides an opportunity to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and of course there is the camaraderie. If at all possible, I will be at least walking to the end of the human life adventure. I agree with Sean....it provides a beautiful balance:>)
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      Nov 17 2013: Colleen, yours has been a nice exposition. Sports give to us a lot of advantages. Well being is provided enormously and practically for free by sports. I'm convinced human body is made for action, and the lack of action is something like a toxic situation. Sports and plein air are not the 'panacea' but a very strong helper for improving ourselves. My father, loved sports, specially running, but his two last years were on a wheelchair; sometimes he was watching tv and people running in the screen, and i could saw a couple of tears on his face. I think about it when I feel myselfo a little lazy -bad weather, etc- for leaving to run or walk.
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        Nov 21 2013: Yes Sean, sports have been a good exploration for me, and I agree with Wayne and Robert, who remind us that sports are a tool.....an opportunity to learn and grow. I agree with you that the human body is healthier with movement....it is made for action, as you say:>) If it is at all possible for us to move, it stimulates all the interconnected systems in the body/mind, which contributes to a healthier lifestyle.
        I am sorry about your dad's situation.
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    Nov 16 2013: well, I walk a lot, Hassan. I would say walking is a very good way to connect to the environment around you, to interact with other people walking. A lot of people who walk are friendly, for example I often catch someone's eye who walks, and they often smile and nod at me, and I smile and nod back. Walking is also very convenient for accomplishing things, when you walk you can very easily go into different stores and businesses along your route and either buy things, or sometimes just ask questions for information or knowledge.

    I also like doing pushups, they make me feel more dextrous and in control of my hands, which increases my self-confidence and feeling that I can do more things with my hands.

    I also like to dance here and there throughout my day, I dance in line at the grocery store, waiting on the corner for the light to change, sitting at my computer, with music or without music. Dancing also gives you physical balance and dexterity, thus increasing your self-confidence and ability to do things with your body.
  • Nov 29 2013: Please read four posts as one article.

    Part 1

    I do not claim that I know everything about teaching and learning but I feel I have something to contribute to this discussion. I also hope that discourse below is read with realization that when Sporting games and Events become business akin to gladiatorial events in ancient Rome, it attracts all the malice of results and profits for its investors. When sports is business, which some do with honor and ethics and some don’t then it commensurately affects players as justly or badly as employees in any other business or economic endeavor (many writers, painters, sculptors also have intense feelings about commercial aspects of their art).

    To build a whole human being, one of the Upanishad (ancient Indian literature, please bear in mind that being ancient is no sign of legitimacy, it just seem relevant to me to quote and use it here) states that a person needs six different types of teachers/guides in an esoteric mix through course of life to achieve evolution and fulfillment. They are

    1. Adhyapak (a primary school teacher in normal sense) – who gives information

    2. Upadhyay (a high school teacher in normal sense) – who helps apply information to generate own version of knowledge to understand natural world

    3. Pundit (a university professor in some sense) – who gives you insights or help you generate insights of your own (by being your Ph.D. guide)

    Our academic system, more so in predominantly knowledge centric society (as pointed out by Yoka Feng on what’s happening in China,) is mainly focusing on these first three kind of teachers.
  • Nov 29 2013: Part 2

    However for evolution and fulfillment, as lifelong learners we need three more teachers

    1. Acharya (a coach in normal sense) – A person who create a system or set of tasks to help realize and discover, I guess many of us would not forget what Mr. Miyagi did for Daniel in older version of Karate Kid (Please see this movie if you haven’t). At times we can be our own Acharya too (may be Mike Van Der Noordt was his own Archaya who taught himself surfing in Costa Rica). In normal professional world, good supervisors also act as an Archarya to groom us. However, the perseverance and dedication to act like Daniel or good pupil comes from childhood or out of desperate necessity.

    2. Drishta (a firefighter or wealth planner in a normal sense) – A person who enables foresight. He/she is a person who with his/ her enormous past experience knows what is likely to happen. We turn to these people in acute circumstances (fire, who would want to experiment) or for decisions with long term implications. In normal professional world, CXO level tries to provide this foresight.

    3. Guru (mostly parents for a child) – Simply a person, who gives us wisdom, distinguishes right from wrong and helps us build personal values to live by.

    The most interesting thing which Upnishad states is that in many cases just like Acharya a person can also be his/ her own Drishta or Guru to build own foresight and wisdom by trial and error or sheer perseverance through cycles of defeat or modest successes. I am glad to note examples of Running, Kickboxing and several others to corroborate this aspect.
  • Nov 29 2013: Part 3
    Ten years back, God sent us twins while we lived in Plano, TX and since then, I have researched heavily on learning in early childhood (upto 12 years). While I hold position in Learning & Development in one of the top B-Schools, which helped in further refinement of my research.

    Across the world, irrespective of culture and language, a child’s world is a world of physical activity. While language proficiency is work-in-progress, the over reliance of knowledge input and linguistic arguments to shape a child are severely limited in effectiveness. A child yet devoid of linguistics sophistication only believes in and perfects what it can observe and do physically. At this stage, a play of any sort alone or with others creates an individual ready to deal with self, others and difficult situations. It can also become magical under an Acharya (if he/she is like Mr. Miyagi). In this life-stage playing of any sort (we all have our local, culture specific games beyond universally known organized Sports such as Tennis, Soccer etc.) have tremendous potential to create that body and mind which are built for nature and know s how to behave in social groups. This play is extremely useful whether one wishes to take Sports as a career or not. However those who continue to engage in Play of some kind through the course of life, still draw immense advantages in one form or other (cited by many such as MaxiMillian, Sarah, Eric et all).

    Beyond 12-14 years, if a child wishes to pursue not Play but Sports as a career. First requirement is of a very good Drishta who can forecast both good and bad parts of this choice and then a Guru who may give wisdom to still achieve sense of fulfillment even though one has to become part of now gladiatorial business of sports.
  • Nov 29 2013: Part 4
    In my humble opinion, need to play in childhood and later on must be given lot higher priority than we think. I wish to emphasize need to play even beyond childhood by referring Bertrand Russell from his book “Impact of Science on Society” (AMS Press, NY, 1949) that in a world profoundly reshaped by science, knowledge and prosperity, mankind will have to reinvent non-violent means to accommodate action, aggression and contest.
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      Nov 27 2013: Yes, I recognize this, after travelling to Marocco i kind of adapted this gesture; the hand on the heart greeting combined with the small bow of the head. I truly believe these gestures show respect, humbleness and do contribute in creating more empathic and civilised society.
      So my experience: it works! ;)

      cheers
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    Nov 21 2013: I will only mention one aspect that might get overlook, sports are often strategic. The book "Money Ball" by Michael Lewis helps to illustrate this. When other teams were spending large amounts on players, Billy Beane used statistics to gain a competitive advantage.

    "Beane has applied statistical analysis (known as sabermetrics) to players, which has led all teams to reconsider how they evaluate players"

    This also demonstrates the importance of teamwork, where everyone must only succeed at what they are good at.
    • Nov 22 2013: That side of sports is not what anyone means when one talks about sports and "teaching" or "life skills" or whatever other excuses are pulled out when trying to rationalize using tax dollars to fund gigantic varsity sports programs in public schools. It's always about athletic activities, not strategy.
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    Nov 21 2013: I think each sport provides a distinctive "take" on being analogous to life.

    Here is the USA each of the 5 major sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer) is more or less interesting to children growing up depending on 1) what their parents like, 2) what their friends like, and 3) what they are physically and psychologically capable of doing.


    But looking back on my own involvement in sports (mostly baseball and tennis and some basketball) I've never felt that sports provided much for me in terms of life lessons. At best, they gave the me an opportunity to socialize, compete and learn the value of practice and hard work. A good thing...
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    Nov 21 2013: Confidence, discipline, habit when you start something always finish it! Way of healthy life, making friends in gym ... A lot of pros mate.What is your favorite sport ?
  • Nov 21 2013: I believe that sports, especially the team ones, really help our moral and ethical. I practiced sports throughout my life and I has brought many values of sport ​​to my personal life. Doing sports we learn discipline and through that practice we can try be better each day. Also is important the team issue, with this you learn concepts of living in group and the importance of each of us to have a good team.
  • Nov 18 2013: Like so many other things, sports are tools. They can help or hinder development. There are 2 types of sports:

    recreational or competitive/organized. Both have their place. Recreational is just that - it is a social gathering, enjoyment and usually you are trying to improve your skills. Organized sports are just that and they can add a lot of become the center of a life and drive someone into a different career path. So long as you are not defined by the sport and it is just part of your life (organizational or recreational), i think it is fine.
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      Nov 21 2013: Well said Wayne, and I agree....like most things in the life adventure, sports are tools from which we can learn and grow.....or not....it is a choice. As you insightfully say, we can use sports in many different ways, and there are many different opportunities for lessons to be learned:>)
  • Nov 17 2013: I have mixed feelings about sport.

    Physical activity enriches my life. It's a visceral experience that leaves me feeling fully engaged in the world. Beside the obvious health benefits, it contributes to my emotional well being.

    I was involved in organized sport early in my life and I eventually competed at a national level. Now that I'm not competing, physical activity has become a way of life.

    My ambivalence is due to the negative aspects of high level competitive sport. The approach to achievement is ethically suspect. Doping is the most overt example, but the "win at all cost" culture supports both physical and emotional intimidation to gain a tactical advantage (outside of sport it's called bullying). I'm not talking about the contact that falls within the parameters of the game, but rather about abuse used to berate the individual (a hockey brawl is one example of this behaviour being tolerated within the sport). There are other examples in other sports that are perpetrated by fans, players and coaches…and I feel they teach the wrong values.

    Sport is wonderful…but unfortunately it also embodies some less desirable traits. I suppose in that sense, it does prepare the athlete for life.
  • Nov 16 2013: Sports are a fantastic metaphor for life and an incredibly useful place to talk about life lessons. I use them in my field of teaching on a regular basis. They teach success and failure, persistance, tolerance, and the value of hard work. They give real life examples of what it is that we as a society should be working towards at its best.

    However, I have also been talking with friends about the deaths in teenage athletes in American Football and the growing number of examples of cheating, doping, and win at all costs attitudes that are growing. So, while sports teaches a great number of good stories, there are also many examples of humanity at its worst to be taught through sports.
    • Nov 18 2013: Yup, fantastic metaphor for life: Win at any cost. So long as you win, nobody complains about what else you do. Morals are only for losers--winners get forgiven anything. Sadly, a very accurate metaphor for life.
      • Nov 18 2013: My dad and I discussed this a few years back as I was going into coaching. He told me something that sadly has rung true for far too long.

        People are behind you 100% win or draw.

        If you lose, they don't support you, but if you win, they are 100% behind you, no matter what you do. And this has played out time and again as I watch professional sports, college sports, club sports, and sadly high school and middle school sports.
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        Nov 21 2013: What sports do you personal play or enjoy?
        • Nov 21 2013: Doing: Fencing, archery (badly)
          Watching: "modern" pentathlon, fencing
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        Nov 21 2013: The question asks how these sports activities, fencing, archery, and even watching: "modern" pentathlon, have "helped you to develop positive inner strength, enhance (your) human qualities "

        Answering this might provide for a better commenting experience, and be answering Hassan's question in a more personal, and therefore, meaningful way. .
        • Nov 21 2013: I have far more often seen sport used as a way to stratify people and create an elevated minority. That is the sad reality of sports in the USA. It is primarily in "outsider" sports such as fencing, gymnastics, swimming, etc. that I still see a living legacy of building character over merely winning for its own sake. It's simple: If a sport tends to have to struggle to be funded, it is more likely to be a character builder. If the sport is lavishly funded, with palaces built for its adoration, it is a source of hierarchy and corruption. You do not hear of huge NCAA scandals over college fencers, after all.
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    Nov 16 2013: I use to walk near the sea everyday; the sun, the fresh air and the proximity of the sea, let me think while i'm walking more clearly than in other places. Problems seem to be hardless but easy to solve. Oxygen, sun and movement are the best counselors and companions. Walking for me, is a very good way to balance correctly and automatically both my body and mind, and good for health. Everybody ought to try it, the soon will be walking-addicts
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    Nov 29 2013: As a filmmaker, I see filmmaking as a marathon; not a hundred meter dash.
    I see soccer as a representation of a family, a team, some on the benches, with their heart on the field; eleven players trying to get the ball into the opponents net. It's not about a player. It's about the team.

    There are those who forget teamwork, and persistence, and passionate training. They run out of steam and turn to drugs.
    Drugs, a shortcut.

    Be true to your heart, be true to your game.
    Sports teach us to win, and win in the right way.
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    Nov 28 2013: Sports are maybe the single greatest individual event that can teach a child or youth so many things in one place. Social structure, team work, how to cope with loses as well as be respectful during wins as well as keeping you physically and mentally strong.

    I think that my last point is one of the more overlooked values of sports in our society in current day. In an age where you are more likely to see a adolescent in front of a t.v rather than out on the street corner, the development of a strong physique and mental state is more needed than ever. Now, there are of course good values about playing video games, i am by no means trying to demean them. The problem is they (video games v.s. physical activity) create different skills.

    A strong physical fitness focus as a child and youth will often translate to good physical fitness as an adult. Now sure there are several adults who played sports as children who are "out of shape" so to speak, but they still have knowledge about being physically active. Often times these adults will participate in at least one sport event a year.

    And finally a strong physical state leads to a strong mental state. It helps develop the brain and allows for a healthy environment for people to learn.

    Really sports as so many apparent and hidden values to anybody, not just children and youth. We could go on for days about the individual positives that sports give a person.
  • Nov 28 2013: I think sport has the opportunity to greatly enrich life. I think it can teach discipline, respect, humility, humbleness, teamwork, loyalty and good sportsmanship. It also helps to be healthy and happy. It can also teach us to respect and love our bodies more as well. To appreciate what our body is capable of.

    However, I only think these things are part of sports if they are incorporated into practice/teaching/coaching. Here in the states you see a lot of coaches and parents who demonstrate horrible behavior. Sore losers, people who only care about winning, or on the opposite end, leagues that give trophies to everyone to avoid hurt feelings etc.

    Overall, I think whether sports are enriching or detrimental all depends on what messages are delivered during training/coaching/etc.
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    Nov 27 2013: Forming our body and psihique ,makes them performant and healthy
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    Nov 26 2013: Forming our body as well as our brain I guess.
  • Nov 26 2013: In school, I aways hate sports lesson cauz it's a big challenge for me, I am not good at any sport games, but when I started Yoga, it's really helpful.
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    Nov 25 2013: Sports!!!
    I love sports! I always have many pressure in my life.(ex: report,pt-work,relationship...etc)
    I even couldn't stop thinking about that.
    But every time when I doing sports I can throw everything away beside my happiness.
  • Nov 25 2013: its just helps students for overall metal & physical development. Develops your physical stamina & metal team work ability . etc It is very important...
  • Nov 25 2013: But what is the actual original source? Does Gardiner provide the specific dialogue or does he just cite the alleged "quote" without sourcing it?
  • Nov 25 2013: Critical note: Too talk about this, should you not also shed a light on the negative effect/side of it all? (not able to tell them my self by the way, but I'm sure they are there.)

    (Abuse of referee, Hooligans and probably there is a lot more. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of positive sides, but you should always look at stuff like this from 2 sides in my opinion)
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      Nov 25 2013: Hello Oliver,

      You are right about these facts, but I don't defined them as the essences of Sports.
      As you said they are abuses and hooliganism.

      For example during Ancient Greece civilization, Sports were an act of peace. The Olympic truce was initiated and respected.

      A truce (in Greek, ekecheiria, which literally means "holding of hands") was announced before and during each of the Olympic festivals, to allow visitors to travel safely to Olympia. An inscription describing the truce was written on a bronze discus which was displayed at Olympia. During the truce, wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from entering Elis or threatening the Games, and legal disputes and the carrying out of death penalties were forbidden.

      During Ancient Greece civilization, Sports were a way to learn how to become a civilized Human Being and citizen.
      • Nov 26 2013: You are right good sir. I dont see them as the essence. I was only trying to point out that not all is bright and peachy in sports.

        Nice piece of information about ancient greece btw. :).
      • Nov 29 2013: Hassan - The ancient Greek Olympics incorporated events that were designed to hone a warriors skills. Athletic events included combat sports such as wrestling and the pankration, horse and chariot racing events.

        The cessation of hostilities is a modern myth. The Greeks never suspended their wars.

        I appreciate your desire to view sport as a noble pursuit, but unfortunately some sports are a product of military training. [ American football, Football (Greece)]

        I believe there is a benefit to physical activity, but I do not believe sport contains innate virtues. [Teamwork is often subjugated by a desire to be in the starting line-up]

        Another aspect of sport is the implication certain individuals are superior to others. Anyone who hasn't been selected for a team (which is the majority) must eventually recognize the irrelevance of physical dominance in an extensively social culture.

        But that said...I think people who appreciate the physical aspect of sport will enjoy a lifetime of benefits.
  • Nov 24 2013: I have a few Socratic questions:
    - Aren't all sports games?
    - Isn't one definition of a game the pursuit of an unnecessary goal?
    - What is it about people that makes them pursue the achievement of an unnecessary goal in a more efficient and effective manner than another group of people? Why does that matter?
    - Does anyone find it perplexing how so many people can be so excited about the achievement of unnecessary goals?
    - What would society be like if people pursued necessary goals with equal fervor (like liberty, education, caring for the sick)?
    - What values, virtues, and principles are taught by sports that cannot be learned outside sports? Are those avenues less costly especially to schools? What are the opportunity costs?
    - If the same values can be learned outside sports, why do we engage in sports?
    - Why do you keep score? Why do you want to know who is better at [fill in sport]? What does that really offer?
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      Nov 25 2013: “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” -Socrates
      • Nov 25 2013: That was not Socrates. Socrates wrote nothing. There were Xenophon, who was a soldier and mercenary, and Plato, who was a teacher. A lot of people put words in Socrates's mouth, and the Socrates "quoted" by Xenophon was very different from the Socrates "quoted" by Plato, who both differed from other Socrates. Which was the "real" one? There is no way to tell, so it's most intelligent to simply presume they were all made up in order to lay some kind of veneer of legitimacy on personal prejudices. However, since you have decided to play at scholar, enlighten us further and tell us from which specific work attributed to or written about Socrates did your alleged "quote" come. You didn't just blindly lift it off some Google search without bothering to track down whether or not it was legitimate, right? After all, such a slipshod and shoddy sort of act would say volumes about the "quality" of sports in producing superior human beings (or failing to do so).

        So, please, do help us out--what is the actual source of this alleged "quote"?

        Since you see fit to play at the scholar
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          Nov 25 2013: Hi Bryan,

          I definitely agree with you Socrates wrote nothing , his speeches and memory only exist through Xenophon and Plato's writings.

          Socrates was right when he was facing the judge pronouncing his death sentence "I will be back".... Yes indeed, he is here with us through this conversation... It is the power of Socrates'Kleos !

          The source of the alleged quote is "Athletics in the Ancient World" By E. Norman Gardiner.

          I was surprised by the tone of your message Bryan !
          No one tries to play the scholar Bryan ! We are just here to exchange knowledge and ideas! I replied you with a quote to initiate and pursue your idea that I found quite interesting!

          I think google search and sport are both Pharmakon... which make them interesting objects to study !

          Don't worry I know that I know nothing...
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    Nov 24 2013: Sport is may be the best way to learn about what discipline and perseverance in a task is about if you want to reach a certain degree of performance or even to improve yourself in your own field. Sport is a virtue in itself and covers a real bunch of virtues as well. Sport can even be considered as a discipline or a microcosm of life itself, in a way to become better, to progress and reach new goals, as it should be in our every day life.
  • Nov 23 2013: The preoccupation with sport as a metaphor for life is part of the same reckless callousness and obsession with force, youth as a pinnacle of human achievement in preference to intellect, wisdom and achievement through the vast richness of human activity, which constructively contribute to the world as opposed to providing the proverbial circuses (in addition to bread). The obscenity of professional sports and the money spent in that arena, should be ample damnation to why sport has become a parasitic human activity and a grotesque misappropriation of resources at a time when the world needs focused intellect and collaboration not on the basis of notional team partisanships but around the serious challenges facing humanity.

    Health and fitness are a priority for all humans to ensure quality of life, but sport does not achieve that (steroids???? injuries??). People can really learn cooperation, through cooperating on real issues rather than war-like activities on the field. Competition is not the way to progress, broad-based tolerance and cooperation is what we need. Sport is a distraction in this process.
  • Nov 23 2013: First of all you need to differentiate what kind sports you are talking about. I guess we are not talking about professional sports as many in here never had the chance or the intention to compete on this level.
    So we are talking about sports in childhood, school or as an hobby ( even if its on a high level ).
    I guess there are 3 main values that you can learn by sportive activities on an amateur level. They can be seperated into motorik, psychological and social values.

    1. Motorik strength affects my body language and my health for your whole lifetime.
    2. Winning or Loossing ( Not only in Competitions but - as some of you mentioned in a negative way - in team election ) will help me to get along with great success or badluck in my live.
    3. Competing with other people can help me to understand the sense of a team and the capacity to negotiate.

    All in all, sports can have a lot of positive effects on your life, if you let it happen and if you are open minded.
    Example: If you loose you mind want to train to get better and not sit in a corner waiting for somebody to let you win for free or your sozial welfare ( Maybe a bit too far, is it? )

    As a last statement you should never forget that sports civilized our community in an essential way.
    Sports help to decontrol the natural drive like aggressivity in a regulated way.
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    Nov 21 2013: I also think sports can provide a bridge for understanding our cultural differences (and similarities).
  • Nov 20 2013: FOOTBALL. i remember as a teenager how football had positive impact on my personality and my life in general. i was inspired by the likes of Pele and maradona and the main thing i learned from their achievements was,... nothing called impossible in life. the sport of football taught me how to be a team player, play a fair game, be open minded and accept other people, learn from them from their culture what is good for me,..... and keep my focus on the goal all the time !
  • Nov 18 2013: I don't believe that sports are completely responsible for helping someone develop into the person they want to be. Sports are only a catalyst.

    In my experience my involvement in sports allowed me to become a more social person. By interacting with people who were interested in being physically fit, having fun, and learning how to achieve and succeed at something, it allowed me to become a better person.

    I learned how to be a leader and help motivate people to become the best version of themselves because I had to teach myself how to do those things for me. As an athlete, you have to pressure yourself to be better and to do better each time you go out and compete.

    I ran track in high school and I could always tell the difference between someone who was dedicated to improving and someone who was content to be complacent. Those interested in improving always took the time to encourage others and cheer on their teammates. The runners who weren't interested didn't pay attention to anything and always complained about having to practice, but wanted to participate in meets that got them out of school early.

    So, being an athlete doesn't always make you a better person. The effort and the drive you have to be a "Successful athlete," is what helps you gain qualities that make you into a better person.
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    Nov 17 2013: Mostly, sport teaches us an "us versus them" and a win-lose philosophy that I believe is responsible for most of the problems in moderns society.
  • Nov 16 2013: I come from a sport that not many think about when they think of the word but i raced motocross growing up. The sport taught me so much. There was the obvious things such as being a good sport, not giving up when presented with a challenge and humility but also other things that you just kind of adapt when doing this kind of sport. I learned the value of a dollar because parts are not keep and anytime you spend money on something you are spending time on it because you used your time to earn that money which you turn around and spend on these things. It thought me to make the most of everything and take care of what you have. I didn't have to nicest bike out their nor the best support team but i learned that if I took care of what I had and made the most of it I can still achieve the gold. The thing it taught me that was most valuable though was money does not make you happy. I remember teams rolling up in semis with spare bikes and thousands of dollars in spare parts and I was with my brother in our old pick up. The thing was though they would race, go pack to their trailer go inside and do whatever it is that they did. We, however, would go pack to the truck try and tweak our bikes better for the next race talk to other racers about what they thought about the track and borrow tools from other people at the rack because you didn't have it. We had a blast and made lots of friends this way. Now that I really think about it, it was the lack of money that made us happy. Funny how this world works sometimes.
  • Nov 16 2013: I was very introverted in high school, looking more to not get noticed than to stand out. However, in baseball I was noticed. The year I first tried out they had just removed Junior Varsity for cost reasons, so the coach took 5 of the tenth graders into his office and told us that we would not be able to contribute to the team that year, but if we wanted to practice with the varsity we could. I was the only one that took him up on his offer and it led to high very successful high school pitching career the next two years, but what that moment did for me was provide me an opportunity to connect with a group of guys that were very socially well adjusted, well liked, and respected within the school. This association gave me a confidence boost that has yet to recede. It gave me an area of my life that was something to look forward to everyday, something to be proud of in off hours, and something my friends universally respected when there were many other very dark times. For my personal development, it was huge. It all goes back to a coach with vision deciding to make an opportunity available for someone that showed a little potential.
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    Nov 16 2013: Here is a YouTube video I made about dancing to exercise in your bed or chair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olHbo8IFOoI