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Sports count ... and they are missed

Kevin Mays • Jun 14, 2020 at 2:00 PM

I miss sports.

Three simple words. But for many, they carry so much meaning.

Sports are not the most important thing in life. God, family, country rank much higher in priority.

Make no mistake, however, for those who list favorite pastimes as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, soccer, swimming, running, bowling, MMA, fishing, water polo, etc., they are important to the physical and mental well-being.

The loss of most sports during this scourge on life known as COVID-19 has been a devastating burden on many.

It is nowhere near the devastation of the loss of life or the ruination of businesses caused by this awful pandemic. Nevertheless, the mental anguish suffered by the loss of athletic events, from Little League to professional play, is sincere.

It is a real casualty to those who use sports for a measure of happiness in life.

SO MUCH MORE

Regardless of the sporting contest, there are always winners and losers.

The reality, however, is sports bring so much more to a person than winning or losing, whether a participant or a spectator.

That’s why its disappearance, if only for a short while, has added to the stress level for so many who have suffered other losses in one way or another during the pandemic.

Sports teach many life lessons: how to work as a team, how to lose and win graciously, how to take instruction, how to use hard work to improve your skills and push your limits, how to bond with teammates and depend on them to do their jobs while you do yours, among others.

All of those are noble traits and well worth learning.

Most who have been involved in sports for any length of time are familiar with those worthwhile traits. And for some who still need to learn them, that’s why sports are missed so badly.

Others, though, miss sports for different reasons.

THE REASONS

Sports are missed because of the relationships among teammates and players and coaches that are lost.

For younger players, a coach is not only a coach. A coach is parental figure.

Unfortunate as it may be, in some cases, a coach may provide the only discipline, structure and, sadly, the only true parental love a player gets in life.

The numbers of athletes who need guidance of a good coach are too high to count.

Pandemic or not, that guidance is still needed and will have to be reinvented in many situations.

Sports are missed because they help build family relationships.

While teams are often said to be like families, just attending sporting events can help build families and strengthen others.

Many best childhood memories are made at the ballpark.

Ask those who grew up watching sporting events with Dad and Mom and they’ll tell you everything about the games they went to see. Not just who played the game or who won, but the sights, sounds and even the smells of the event.

Creating those family memories are not just about the game. They’re about developing a relationship with the ones you love the most.

Sports are missed because they’re fun.

Whether you’re running, golfing, playing tennis, out on the lake fishing, cycling, playing on the church softball team, it doesn’t matter: You’re enjoying it.

For most, sports are casual. They’re something done after work or on the weekends.

They’re often done, for just a few hours a week, to escape the real-world pressures.

They are something to be enjoyed and to help keep the passion for life alive.

They are good for physical and mental health.

For the less-active armchair quarterbacks, sports can be just as passionate whether watching them on TV or in the stadium.

Friday night high school games or weekend college and pro games provide an outlet for a group of folks, commonly referred to as fans, to come together and cheer for a common team and a common goal: their team’s victory.

Regardless of one’s station in life, for that three or four hours they band together and, for the most part, enjoy and add a little excitement to life.

We can all use a little more enjoyment that sports bring to life these days.

That’s why I miss sports.

And eagerly await their return.

Contact Kevin Mays via email at kmays@timesnews.net.

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