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Does Sports (Golf) Teach Life Lessons?


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Life Lessons and Sports  

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  1. 1. Do sports (like golf) teach "life lessons" to children?

    • Yes, they can and often do.
      42
    • No, they can't, and thus don't.
      2


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23 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I've always been amused by folks who believe competitive sports teaches life lessons. Life teaches life lessons. I've won and lost sports championships. You know what? Neither taught me anything about life. It's just sports.

This (my response) would have been off topic in the original topic, so I started a new one.

I think you're nuts, @JonMA1, if you don't think sports teaches "life lessons." Sports can teach teamwork. It can teach that hard work leads to improved results. It can teach a child how to deal with being beaten, even if he did put in the hard work. It can teach sportsmanship and respect for others.

Golf specifically has taught my daughter honesty and integrity. It's taught her that there are rules that must be followed, and penalties to be paid. It's taught her that sometimes, people will break those rules and get away with it, and that it says everything about them and nothing about you.

The list goes on and on. Sports are a part of life, competition is a part of life, and so no, it's not "just sports."

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We definitely disagree.... at least on the importance of sports @iacas.

Edit...

I don't think you give yourself or your wife enough credit as parents. 

All those examples could easily be derived without sports. If you want to associate sports with good character, have at it. I think it's naive.

There are just too many exceptional people in this world who became that way without sports.

Edited by JonMA1
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Golf in particular teaches people how to deal with adversity. It also lets you know quite clearly and frequently that life is not fair. Sometimes you hit good shots and you wind up in trouble. Sometimes you hit bad shots and you wind up absolutely fine. How you deal with that is important.

Plus, I remember reading quite some time ago the golf version of "in vino veritas". "In golf the truth". If you want to know what someone is really like, play golf with them. That will tell you a lot. It does not seem like a stretch to me that the same thing works the other way and you'll learn a lot about yourself playing golf too.

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Golf is the most spiritual of all games ; it just can't help it. So, yes, it is going to teach little and large life lessons. Lots of books about that. Notice that I said games. Others might disagree and say that baseball rises to a spiritual level during the playoffs and the World Series or might say fly fishing or bass fishing or pheasant hunting has a spiritual component. But golf has that level all the time if  I am sensitive to it. -Marv aka Shivas 

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17 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

There are just too many exceptional people in this world who became that way without sports.

But this logic doesn’t negate the question. I know many fine people for whom sports has played near zero impact.  

But the question is not if sports are the only way for children to learn life lessons.

Edited by RandallT
Five to “fine”
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Yes, golf and sports in general teach life lessons. It would be a very long list if I were to try to name them all. Some are good, some not so much, but there are lessons to be learned whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not.

One of things I like to say about this game is that it's a lot like life: you start with a plan and try to execute it; whether you succeed or not, you can't do anything about what has already happened. Sometimes you get bounces that you deserve and sometimes you get bounces you don't, both good and bad. All you can do is play your next shot from where it lies.

1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

There are just too many exceptional people in this world who became that way without sports.

Of course there are. That doesn't mean there are no lessons to be learned from sports.

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@billchao and @RandallT - of course, you guys and Erik are right in saying it has some impact. Almost everything does.

My opinion was more that sports do not offer life lessons to kids any more than hanging out with friends and family members, or school experiences, or losing a family member, or spending the summer on a farm, or visiting a different culture....

My point is that life teaches life lessons. Sports is a small part of life for many so it does play a part. It is good for the soul and body as @MarvChamp stated. 

I just believe sports specifically has nowhere near the impact that others believe. It's just my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

My point is that life teaches life lessons.

I agree with that. In your original quote it seems like you dismiss sports as being able to teach lessons entirely, when clearly sports are part of a person's life if they choose to participate in them. But, TBH, I don't know the context of the your original text.

9 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I just believe sports specifically has nowhere near the impact that others believe. It's just my opinion.

Yea this is what I mean. I don't know the context so I'm not sure where you infer this from. You should certainly have no idea how much impact I believe sports has because I don't think I've ever made that indication.

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As with anything else, it depends on what you get out of it.  Some people learn values of team work and hard work.  Others merely see it as enjoyment of participation.  Some people get more out of it then others.

Personally, sports does teach life lessons - like luck happens more often to those who work hard. :beer:

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My life long buddy told me that his Dad, now deceased, had a saying. "You can get kids into sports, or they can get into trouble." Of course it doesn't work 100% of the time, but I think it does the vast majority of the time. There will always be exceptions to the rule.

For the most part, parents want to be proud of their kids and the kids want their parents to be proud of them! Sports give kids something to do, teaches them to try, teaches them to compete, teaches them to cooperate, teaches them so many things! Speaking for us (myself and my buddies growing up), we played EVERYTHING!

But it was when I found golf, that I really got hooked! Because it was just me. There was no one else to blame for a loss or a bad play. The more I put into it, the more I got out of it because it was just me. Team sports are great, but I think golf will always the be the best, and most instructional, game every devised by man.

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Nobody is arguing this, but I think sports teach life lessons, but they aren't the only way to learn life lessons. I think sports can teach a lot of great things for both kids and adults. Golf, in particular, really teaches you about hard work, honesty, integrity, how to roll with the punches, etc. 

Plus, sports are fun.

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3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

 

 

 

All those examples could easily be derived without sports. If you want to associate sports with good character, have at it. I think it's naive.

There are just too many exceptional people in this world who became that way without sports.

Sports are just one of the many tools available. The parent will choose the one they feel they can best wield. If they choose sports than you can say sports, guided by a parent, taught life lessons.

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3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

All those examples could easily be derived without sports. If you want to associate sports with good character, have at it. I think it's naive.

You said that sports doesn't teach these things.

3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

There are just too many exceptional people in this world who became that way without sports.

Nobody's saying that the ONLY way to learn some things is through sports.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

You said that sports doesn't teach these things.

I said winning and losing never taught me any life lessons and I stand by that.

I said I've always been amused by those who think competitive sports does. Maybe I should have said I think it's crazy that people put as much emphasis towards that notion. Clearly, I was wrong when it comes to many others.

Almost all of those things you listed were already being developed before I ever got into sports. I can say the same about my children. Honesty, integrity, teamwork, effort, failing, succeeding... those things were being taught and learned from a very early age. If others required playing competitive sports to develop them, cool. 

Clearly I'm in the minority, but sports has offered little (probably nothing) in the way of any life lesson. They are, in fact, just sports to me.

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Sport 'can be used' to teach life lessons, so can religion, so can work, so can great role models, etc, etc etc,,,,,

Those same tools for positive growth can also be used to teach some pretty crappy stuff too - it's up to the 'parent' (or whatever) to make the right use of it..

Whatever the parents use as tools to do that - more power to them.  Good parents will use whatever works with the kid.

 

I don't find a conflict here, just how the lesson is interpreted.  Look for the commonality of what each of you is attempting to say and likely you agree deep down and just don't like how the other is putting it forth.

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36 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

Look for the commonality of what each of you is attempting to say and likely you agree deep down

Probably. If so, I have no problem admitting I was wrong.

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1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

Almost all of those things you listed were already being developed before I ever got into sports. I can say the same about my children. Honesty, integrity, teamwork, effort, failing, succeeding... those things were being taught and learned from a very early age. If others required playing competitive sports to develop them, cool. 

From my experience parenting....I can teach or tell my kids about values/life lessons all I want but it's not "real" until they actually experience it. So for my kids it was really important for them to be involved in team sports early on, especially for my youngest. He had to learn how to work with other people towards a common goal, how to make sacrifices, how to deal with losing, how to win with good sportsmanship, etc.

2 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Clearly I'm in the minority, but sports has offered little (probably nothing) in the way of any life lesson. They are, in fact, just sports to me.

Sports never taught you or furthered your knowledge of how to read people, how to prepare for an event, how to evaluate yourself after winning or losing, how to handle to handle your emotions, how to gauge your strengths and weaknesses, how to make the most of your abilities? I'm not trying to pile on, just asking because we might have different definitions of sports teaching life lessons.

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