What the Word “Sport” Means to Me

Sport. Noun. “A game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job.” (Cambridge Dictionary) 

Sure, this definition of sport makes sense to me, but when I think about it, it fails to mention the all-encompassing aspects of sport that many of us experience when we participate in it. From winning, losing, and all of the lessons learned along the way, there is much more to sport than this simple definition. In today’s blog, I write about what the word “sport” means to me.


Sport to me means strength. Not just the physical strength gained by playing sport and being active, but also the mental strength that comes with taking part in the game. Sport makes us stronger. It builds our muscles, our cardio, and our mind. It helps us to make important decisions in a split second while not crumbling under the pressure. Sport not only makes us stronger, but it also gives us the strength to help us when times are tough.  


Sport to me means persistence. It’s those 6am practices, those late-night weight sessions, and those games where avoidable mistakes were made. Sport means persisting through the long hours, injuries, and frustrations to better yourself as an athlete and as a person. It means sticking with the program and trusting in the process: trusting your coaches, your teammates, and yourself. 


Sport to me means optimism. It’s that feeling when your teammate, after weeks of practice and hard work, makes contact with the ball and gets to second base for the first time. It’s when your best friend makes a freethrow to tie the game in the final seconds. It’s knowing that winning this game means going to the finals, with a chance to win it all. With sport comes optimism. It means believing in your future success and having a positive attitude throughout the entire process. 


Sport to me means resilience. It means those times where giving up sounds so easy, but you push through because you know the outcome will feel so much better than quitting. It’s when you come back to your sport after an injury or mental health break, reinvigorated and ready to give it your all. It’s every time that your training gets tough, but you push through the exhaustion because being stronger means not letting your team down. It’s adapting when things during the game don’t go as planned and coming out better than you were before. 


Sport to me means being teachable, being open to those “learning moments” that can’t be taught anywhere else. We learn so much from our coaches, teammates, referees, and opponents. We learn so much from ourselves. The skills that we learn from sport as kids can be translated into skills later on in our lives - not only in sport, but also in the workplace, family life, in our friendships and relationships. Sport is a place where we can learn, but also a place where we can teach. It means that we as athletes have the opportunity to teach others to be better and make sport as a whole better for the future generations to come. 


Sport means different things to different people. For me, sport means much more than a simple definition. It means strength, persistence, optimism, resilience, and being teachable. Does the word “sport” have another meaning for you? I’d love to hear about it and maybe even include it in another blog post! Email me at student@kidsport.ab.ca