Life Lessons Learned In Sports
If you enjoy sports, then like me you probably read countless news articles from journalists based on current sporting events. That’s all well and good, but the athletes usually don’t get a chance to have their say, granted it is often better not to say something.
When it comes to writing a book though, these athletes can say anything the like, and in addition to awesome stories, they are full of valuable lessons we can apply to both sport and life.
I’m planning to read at least 52 sports autobiographies this month and am doing my best to compiles my notes from each. Here are 6 life lessons learned through sports autobiographies I’ve had this year so far.
Autobiographies of Sports Persons
From Arnold Palmer in A Life Well Played: Nice Guys Can Finish First
In his book, Arnold Palmer described many stories from throughout his career and the one thing I noticed throughout was Arnold willingness to always do the right thing. Whether that was signing autographs, honoring handshake deals, collaborating with others, or cheering on his fellow competitors when they hit an incredible shot.
Despite always making time for others, he was fiercely competitive and his rivalry with Jack Nicklaus is one of the greatest of all time.
life lessons learned in sports: Always be kind to others.
From Ric Flair in To Be The Man: Making Others Look Great Will Help You
Wow, reading this book, it’s crazy how good Ric Flair was great at wrestling despite partying most nights and having over 300 matches a year at his peak. Something Ric mentions regularly throughout the book can be summed up by this quote:
“As I’ve said repeatedly if you want to be the best—whether your philosophy is old school, new school, whatever—you go out and make your opponent look as good as humanly possible.”
life lessons learned in sports: By making your colleagues look good, you gain a reputation for being associated with that and people do take notice.
From Cyrille Regis in My Story: It’s Never Too Late To Make A Change
After a tough childhood, Cyrille was on his way to being a totally respectful tradesman after completing an internship. Being a professional football was never on his radar until scouts started to ask about him when he was playing at amateur level. He soon changed career and decided to see where football could go. And it led to success if you ask most people.
But Cyrille has a lot of regrets, especially in regards to his family and how he treated those closest to him. He made another change though, thanks to believing in god and followed that path away from alcohol and all night parties cheating on his wife.
life lessons learned in sports: If you realize an error in your ways, it’s up to you to make the change.
From Justin Roberts in Best Seat In The House: Persistence & Passion Will Take You Places
From a young age, Justin was absorbed by everything wrestling. It didn’t take him long to realize he wasn’t built to be a wrestler but he could be a ring announcer. From then on he was on the phone and talking to people at any chance he could to learn more about the wrestling industry. He found that being friendly helped:
“Being friendly opened every door at that school, and that’s where I learned that being friendly could open just as many doors in life.” Combining this with his passion and persistence it’s no wonder he made it to the top.
Lesson: If you’re passionate about something, don’t make excuses to reach your goals.
From Lopez Lomong in Running For My Life: Goals Are Better Shared
Lopez Lomong didn’t even know what the Olympics were until he was entering his mid-teens. That might sound crazy, but when he saw Michael Johnson winning a gold medal on a black and white TV inside the refugee camp he now had a dream to win a medal at the Olympics. That’s a big dream, but he then shared an awesome quote when he started to see some running success and the dream turned into a goal:
“The thing about dreams, though, is they usually sound crazy to everyone but you. All it takes is one other person to buy into them to keep you going.”
life lessons learned in sports: Find that one person who you can share your biggest dreams with and you’re 100 times closer to accomplishing your goal.
From Bob Knight in The Power of Negative Thinking: Preparation Trumps All
Bob’s book has a fun title, but it really is a great book and everything he says makes complete sense. My biggest takeaway is preparing for things in life is half the battle and I’ll provide a couple of quotes from the book to help illustrate the point:
“Having the will to win is not enough. Everyone has that. What matters is having the will to prepare to win.”
“Luck can win sometimes, but preparation is a more consistent formula for success. Good teams can get lucky and win, bad teams, can’t.”
The lessons in this book are obvious in hindsight.
life lessons learned in sports: If you improve in your preparation for an upcoming task, you’re more likely to excel at said task.
What was your favorite life lesson? I think the last one is most applicable to me. I’ve got a marathon coming up, so knowing that each run in advance is preparing me for my goal is eliminating my excuses to not go out and train.