6 life lessons I learned by playing soccer for 18 years

One of the earliest memories I can remember is my parents enrolling me in every extra curricular activity they could think of. I’d go from ballet shoes to karate belts all in one Saturday and although at the time I disliked it and felt that it was too much for a four year old to take on, looking back, I learned many useful skills from these activities – the most significant to my life was soccer. After 18 years of playing, I've had a plethora of takeaways that have been incorporated in my everyday life.,
I have broken it down into six essential life skills I’ve gained through my time as a part time recreational soccer player. 

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Staying Positive
What does it mean to stay positive when playing a sport? While playing soccer, I learned to stay positive no matter what the situation is. Sometimes it can be hard, especially when losing a game or missing a shot. But what I learned from experience, is that regardless of what happens during the game, you have to keep your head up and continue playing your best otherwise it’ll only lead to more negative vibes.

Being a team player
I learned that being a team player comes in handy when needed most. Being a team player can mean many things. For starters, it can mean taking initiative for your team by leading by example and being the bigger person when conflicts arise. It also involves cheering the team up when their down and keeping their hopes up during difficult encounters. 

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Time management
Time management is important when you’re a full time student, part time worker and trying to balance a sport. It’s important to keep active, take a break, and step back to focus on yourself. At first it may seem hard to manage school, work and a sport, but over time you’ll learn that it’ll motivate you stay on top of your schoolwork, stop procrastinating and make the most of everyday. 

Enhanced skills
Playing a sport is one good way to learn many different life lessons that you can apply to your daily life. I’ve been playing soccer since I was about 4 years old and it’s taught me that practice makes perfect… well almost perfect. At first, all I could do was kick a ball. But as I grew older, I got the chance to work with many different coaches, and along the way each person taught me different skills that I still use. Now, I’m quicker on my feet, I can anticipate plays before the ball is even passed, and my aim is much better than when I first started. These skills give me the confidence and motivation to continue playing and further improve my skills in playing the sport I love.  

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Facing fears
Facing your fears may be easier said than done. For starters, I know what its like to fear going back and playing the one sport you love. I know It took me a least 6 months to go back after my first concussion. However, going back and facing my tears felt good. This also helped me face fears towards anything in life. Never giving up, showing your stronger than your fears makes you a stronger person. 

Going beyond your limits
Going beyond your limits to me means being able to achieve your biggest goal in life, whatever that may be. At the end of a game, you always want to know that you gave it your all, and went over and beyond to be a great soccer player in this case.