As high performing athletes, we all have a dream or a vision of getting to that next level. Part of that vision includes playing collegiate athletics. Whether you intend to go onto professional sports or not, collegiate athletics benefit our future and shapes us into distinct individuals. There is more to collegiate athletics than just developing athletic talent. Many times, the benefits of participating in collegiate athletics go unnoticed. Through collegiate athletics student-athletes learn about important life skills, such as leadership and communication just to name a few.
With leadership and communication being so important in today’s workplace, many corporations are now seeking out former student-athletes. The head of student-athlete development at the University of California, Berkeley reported receiving solicitations from companies who want to hire student-athletes. Company recruiters do solicit student-athlete development services and want to attend events like “career night” for student-athletes because they know how difficult it is to find employees with the life skills that athletes posses.
Another significant and life long benefit to being a student-athlete is exposure to diversity. Many collegiate athletics teams recruit from all over the world and fill their team rosters with international student-athletes. Throughout my four years of playing intercollegiate golf, I had teammates from Mexico, Korea, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, Scotland, Colombia, and teammates from both lower and upper class. I am certain that I made personal and social gains because of diversity. The diversity on my team opened my eyes to the rest of the world by learning about cultures outside of the United States.
Another benefit of participating in intercollegiate athletics is socialization via sport. Socialization via sport can be thought of as positive outcomes that emerge through the experience of participation in sports. Participation in athletics builds character and can help develop generalized skills such as self-discipline, hard work, teamwork, perseverance, sacrifice, and respect for rules. In today’s business world, teamwork is becoming more important than it ever has been before.
Participation in collegiate athletics is more than just playing sports, it also builds character and shapes us into distinct individuals. The benefits gained in collegiate athletics cannot be found elsewhere. Be proud of all the things you are learning and keep growing not only as an athlete but also as a distinct individual!
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