There are many life lessons you can learn by playing sports. Apart from the exercise, the fun factor and the competitive spirit, there is a lot more to be learnt from sports, lessons that can prepare you for life off the field.

Here are 29 things you can learn from sports:

1. Be passionate

First things first: If you’re not passionate enough, you’re never going to achieve anything. You need to really want to do something to be able to do it.

2. Right attitude

Having the right attitude is important, it will determine how high you fly. Especially in a team sport, having the right attitude will mean you get along with your team.

3. Goal setting

Set your targets and work towards it. You need to know what you want to achieve in life and work systematically towards reaching your goals.

4. Practice makes perfect

The only way to get better is to practice. It is a simple rule of life that the more times you do something, the better you will get at it.

5. Preparation

You need to be prepared… physically, emotionally and mentally. You need to be ready to give it your all, and do whatever it takes to win.

6. Fair play

When we say, whatever it takes, we mean it in a good way. There is no glory in winning dirty.

7. Perseverance

Try, try and try again until you succeed. There is no reason why it cannot be done. And if it hasn’t be done before, well you’re just going to have to be the first one to do it.

8. Endurance

There will be a 100 occasions where you will want to give up for a 100 different reasons. But hold on and brave the storm. Remember, no pain, no gain.

9. Taking care

Getting a good rest is very important. If you do not rest and recuperate, you will not be able to perform on the pitch. One needs to be fresh for the fight.

10. Building character

The more sport you play, the more you learn. You grow as a person and learn to make important decisions along the way.

11. Mental strength

Half the battle is in your head. If you don’t believe you can do it, you have no chance at all. You need to have some faith in yourself.

12. Believing in others

Just like how you believe in yourself, having faith in your teammates is important too. If you don’t believe in their ability, you cannot perform as a team.

13. Patience

Patience is crucial. Whether you’re in the middle of a match or sidelined by an injury, waiting for the right moment is crucial.


14. Team spirit

None of us are stronger than all of us. Enough said.

15. No excuse

Your excuse might be valid but excuses don’t win titles. Throw your excuse away. You have no use for it.

16. Kill your demons

Everyone has demons but the ones who are successful are the ones who crucify their demons. Don’t let inner demons halt your march to glory.

17. Make mistakes

Make mistakes because only then will you learn. But correct your faults. An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to learn from it.

18. Respect

Respect everyone: yourself, your teammates, your coach, your opponents, the referee, the fans. In sport, just like in life, respect is very important.

19. Focus

Never lose focus. You should always have your target in your sights. You should know what you’re working towards, otherwise you will deviate from your path.

20. Let go

You need to let go of things you cannot change. What’s done is done.

21. Keep learning

No matter how big you’ve made it, never stop learning. Because getting better never stops.

22. Be confident, not cocky

Be confident always but never be cocky. Pride goes before a fall.

23. Knowing your limits

Everyone has limits. The trick is not just to push yourself to the extreme, it is also knowing when to stop.

24. Never underestimate

Never take any opponent lightly. The odds might all be in your favour but remind yourself of David and Goliath.

25. Celebrate

When you give it your all and then succeed, don’t stop yourself from celebrating. You’ve earned it.

26. Win and lose with dignity

Don’t go overboard with your celebrations. Don’t belittle or goad your opponents. At the same time, accept defeat with dignity. You tried, you lost, now deal with it.

27. Nothing wrong with crying

After all the sacrifices and all the hard work, if you fail in the end, it is okay to shed a tear or two. Nothing reminds us that we’re human like our tears.

28. Keep pride away

Win, lose or draw, but keep your pride away. There is nothing that can kill a career like pride.

29. Relish every moment

You never know when you’ll lose it all or how long you will play. Live every moment and relish it while it lasts.

For these 29 lessons and more, you should take up some sport or the other. It will prepare you for life. But once you’ve learnt your lessons, don’t stop. Because, like I said, getting better never stops!