1) the camaraderie
2) the fun of actually playing
3) the development of self - discipline
I was not born a naturally gifted athlete. I was skinny, not that coordinated, and not particularly fast. But I trained hard, and got better. Much better.
Everyone has mental and physical limits, but rarely do we EVER come close to doing what we're capable of.
I listened to an inspirational interview with Gen. Stanley McChrystal last week. (Click here to listen).
In the interview, McChrystal was asked what piece of advice he would give someone to become more tenacious and tough like the elite military special forces. His answer: push yourself beyond your limits. He said that rarely do we ever push ourselves like we should, to achieve what we want to do.
This reminded of my 9th grade year, when I almost quit the football team. Actually, I did quit. But I regretted it immediately and went back the next day. Luckily they took me back. Our coach had a motivational quote printed out which he gave us.
I still have it in a frame by my bed. It's one of my mottoes:
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor
all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.”
from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Read next: The 12 Commandments of Fitness