Monday, September 30, 2013

Sports Teach What School Does Not

As some of you may remember, I used to run a blog. It went by various names, and was more of a lifestyle blog than TriLovelad, which is dedicated mostly to the endurance sports world. Nonetheless, I'd like to revisit a topic I covered under L-Town, my former blog. There was a great Youtube video called "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" that went viral around a year and a half ago, to the tune of 25 million views to date. I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to talk about the spin off, another "Spoken Word" video by Suli Breaks called "Why I Hate School But Love Education." In it, Breaks argues that while education presents some merit, it is not the facts you memorize, the problems you solve, or the exams you pass that make you an educated man. There are some things that aren't learned in a classroom. Towards the end, he recalls a moment in which he watch David Beckham take a free kick, watched the ball "change its mind" and fall into the net. Watched as the goal keeper tried to decipher the ball's trajectory, and reacted just a millisecond too late.

There are some things that we can't, that won't ever learn in a class. There are somethings that a teacher can't teach. Sure, gym class can teach you how to throw a football, spike a volleyball, hit a baseball. But what it won't teach you, what very few classes will ever teach you, is to dream. To put your mind to something, and go for it. The farthest down that road we ever got in school was a pre-school teacher telling a class of four-year-olds, "You can be whatever you want to be." But as we got older, that mantra went away and now we're told, "You're on track to be a ______." What happened there?

There are other things sports have taught me. That you don't need the latest, greatest technology for entertainment. When was the last time the design of the football changed? How about the Frisbee? It's taught me to respect even the slightest, smallest guy on the team because often, that's the guy that's kicking your ass when you least expect it. Sports have made me a team player, and a leader. Taught me that the best suffering is the kind endured in the company of others, because like the saying goes, misery loves company. But most importantly, it's made me tenacious. That's not something you learn in the classroom. How to take physical pain or mental suffering, or even monotony and JUST DEAL WITH IT. To put my mind to something I want, and go out and get it. Can all these things be taught in school? Yes. But learning it, and actually going out and doing it are two very different things. It's like driving a stick shift. I know the fundamentals of driving a stick shift, on paper, but the first time I actually tried, I killed it pretty fast. It's the same as learning how to set goals versus actually going out and putting in the work and doing it.

Sports have taught me many things, and few of them ever came up in the classroom. Think about that, intellectuals...

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