Five Reasons to play a Team Sport

I graduated from High School a little over five years ago. My year had over 250 students enrolled, and while I did not get along with a select few of them, the majority of the people in my year I got along with fairly well.

Flash forward five years, and I am only in touch with about 7 people from my School on a week-to-week basis (and one of them is my Fiancée).

These are the friends I’ve grown even closer with since High School, and the memories and experiences I have shared with these friends are a large part of who I am as a person today.

How have we managed to keep in touch while studying different fields, pursuing different careers, and ultimately living our own lives?

The answer: we started a Basketball team!!

13217_633238880153137_4323480117683242489_nThis is the first of five reasons why I would recommend men and women of all ages start playing a team sport. It is social! (That is our team on the left).

Whether it be Football (soccer for those who wish to call it that), Basketball, Hockey, Cricket, American Football, Lacrosse, Netball or even Volleyball! Participating in an organised team sport will help you keep in touch with your friends. It doesn’t matter if its competitive, semi-professional or even a social competition! Playing a team sport allows a couple of hours a week for you to gather with your buddies and enjoy yourselves.

Before I get into the second reason, I want to elaborate on this. My team and I play in a social amateur competition at our local sports centre. We play every Monday evening. This is pretty much the only time in our busy schedules that we have to catch up. Some of us work long hours, some of us are in relationships, some of us are studying or working hard to save for a down-payment on a house.  Basically, as you get older, your lives begin to move in different directions. We are all beginning to travel down our own paths. The fact of the matter is that playing basketball together has allowed us all to remain in touch with one another, and maintain the friendships that we have developed growing up.

Now I know some of you are reading this and thinking “I can’t freaking stand the people I went to High School with Luke! Why would I want to keep in touch with them?!” Granted, you may not have any desire to keep in touch with high school friends. However, you may have old College friends, old room-mates, ex-colleagues that are now your friends. What I am getting at is, even if you see these friends a lot more often than in my example, playing in a team sport will only create another way for you to bond, and will ultimately strengthen your friendship.

Moving on to reason number two : It is exercise!

Some people I talk to complain that they never have time to work out and exercise, or they never have time to catch up with the boys. I always suggest a team sport to these people. Kill two birds with one stone! Gather your buds, decide on a sport that you all share an interest in, and play! Before basketball, the same group of my friends and I participated in indoor-soccer tournaments. Then we switched to basketball. None of us had ever played basketball before. In our first game, I have to be honest, I had never sweated so much in my life! (it would have helped burn off some of the entire pizza I ate the night before). I have played Football (Soccer) all my life as a left sided midfielder. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means I have a decent amount of stamina, as I would be running non stop from end to end. But basketball had a different class of intensity to it that I had never experienced before. Each team sport requires a different category of fitness or toughness. As we played more I noticed my energy levels went up, I was feeling better about myself, and I felt healthier as a result.

You won’t only be keeping your friendships healthy, you’ll be keeping your body healthy too!

The third reason is a bit less obvious than the first two reasons. As I mentioned already, we all shared a common interest in Basketball. However we had never played before. We started our team and had kits made. We called ourselves “The Blouses” (anyone who watches “The Chappelle Show” will appreciate our team name). We registered for the local competition and in that first season, we sucked! We lost all 14 games we played. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?

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A lot of people tend to lose interest in a sport (or pursuing a goal) when they obtain little to no results. My friends and I, on the other hand, stuck with it, started practising a bit more, and in the second and third seasons, we made the play-off’s and narrowly missed out on getting to the championship game. In our fourth season, we went 14-1 and won the championship game! And this is the third reason that I believe everyone should play a team sport: character building! Playing a team sport teaches you to persevere and not give up on your goals! When the heat is on, stay in the kitchen!

1503965_357505091126666_5512423825684388795_nWe could have easily blown up and said “Man, screw this game! I don’t wanna play anymore! Losing sucks!”. But we were still having fun, and we knew we could get better at it if we didn’t give up on it. Going from a team that couldn’t buy a win, to a championship winning team in a little over two years is a pretty impressive achievement. And it would never have happened if we gave up at the first hurdle! Not to mention that it felt GREAT!!!! This is our team photo after the championship game, we were all so psyched and satisfied with ourselves, because we achieved something that seemed impossible two years earlier.

On to the fourth reason: the importance of teamwork!

Whether you are hosting a family Barbecue, playing in a team sport, or completing a project at work, you need to work as a team with the people around you to make your project a success. I do not believe there is a better way to learn teamwork first hand than to play a team sport. I’ll take you all back to my basketball team. One of the main reasons we were so bad in our first season was we would literally dribble the ball up, make maybe on pass, and whoever received the pass would shoot from wherever they were on the court. Often we were failing to work as a team to get the ball into an area where we could make an easier shot. We were playing as individuals, not as a team.

Flash forward to the championship game, and we won 35-28. About three or four of our players recorded multiple assists, we defended well as a unit, shared the scoring around, and we were able to work better as a team than our opposition (and the majority of their players were taller and bigger than we were). At times we didn’t even have to communicate verbally. We all knew our roles, when to move, where to move, when to pass, where to pass, and we worked together very fluently without having to instruct one another. That comparison from this game to our first season demonstrates how we learned to work together on the court. Teamwork is a massive part of playing a team sport! You simply cannot succeed in these games if you’re greedy, or not a “team player!”

Moving on to the final and probably the most important reason: it is so much fun!!!!

While myself and my team are far from being able to dunk like LeBron or break ankles with a mean crossover like Uncle Drew, we still enjoy ourselves and have an absolute blast!

There you have it! Five reasons why everybody should play a team sport. Men, women, even your kids. Get involved in team sports, and you will develop skills that will serve you for the rest of your life!!!

Me, Myself, and I! Learning about Luke’s life!

Every friend you have ever had, or ever will have, was at some point a random stranger…. Unless that friend is a younger sibling, in which case, you got stitched up with them. Those friends you hold so dear, that you laugh with, lean on in times of need, and, in some cases, have no hesitation farting in front of, were people that you used to know absolutely nothing about.

You’re probably sitting here thinking “Yeah, so what has this got to do with the price of eggs in China?!”

What I am getting at is, the majority of people are more likely to listen to advice, take on criticism, and be motivated by somebody they regard as a “Friend” as opposed to somebody they know less than nothing about. The more you know somebody, the easier it is to relate to them. I am aiming to write a blog that will motivate and guide readers in their everyday life, to expand their thinking and help them become better people. If my readers know nothing about who I am, why the hell would they take on any advice I give them?

This is the point of my first post. In order to truly grasp the value of the stories, perspectives, lessons and insights of my future posts, you need to know at least a little about me. Instead of diving into some dull, self-centred novel carefully dissecting every little detail about my life, I am only going to share with you eight things about myself.

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1. How old are you?  I am 23 years of age.

2. Where are you from? I am Australian born, and I live in a small town that is a cheeky drive South of Sydney.

3. Single? I am happily engaged to my high school sweet heart Talia.

4. What do you do for a living? Like a lot of people my age, I am fresh out of University and do not have a clear vision of what I would like to do with my life. I graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Business. I majored in Economics. Since graduating I have found employment as the Inventory manager/Purchasing Officer in a Food Distribution company in the area. Hardly a dream job, but at this stage of my life, it’s all about that “foot in the door”, learning the different levels of a business first hand, and gaining the experience necessary to broaden my horizons.

5. Any hobbies? If you don’t like football (soccer for anyone reading that refuses to call it football), you better click away now……..

………… Don’t really………… still there? Phew! I thought I’d lost you there!

I am absolutely mad about football. Living in Australia, you need to be, as watching the big teams in the big leagues (such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United etc.) involves getting out of bed at 2-3 o’clock in the morning. If somebody is giving up their beauty sleep on a regular basis, they are either a) completely mental (I promise, I’m only half mental…..) or b) really passionate about what it is they are getting up for.

Apart from football/soccer I have played Guitar since I was 12 years old. I have even taught music to children on a part time basis during my studies. Not a bad gig for a student to earn a bit of coin on the side. One of my new years resolutions has been to pick the guitar up more often, as priorities have limited the time I have to play.

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6. Ever travelled? Yes, Talia and I went on a cruise together in February 2014 to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. This has so far been my only trip away from Australia. This was the beautiful trip that turned magical when I took a leap of faith and got down on one knee. I am one lucky bugger, because she responded with the greatest three letter word in the English language: “Yes”. Check out the picture! I am punching above my weight, I know 😛

7. Lots of friends, or a small group of friends? I have always been a person who gets along with the vast majority of people I come across, but I have always preferred a small handful of close friends over a large number of friends. I don’t need to go into further detail how close I am with my friends (within two sentences of starting this post, I openly admitted to farting in front of them)……. moving on.

8. Five celebrities you would love to meet? I have a huuuuuuge list of celebrities I would like to meet, but if I had to pick five I would absolutely love to meet would be:

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Keith Urban: Since learning to play guitar, I have been a massive admirer of this man’s talent. He has the ability to make the guitar sing for him in many of his songs, and he makes it look effortless. I have been to see him live twice already, and every time he comes to Sydney, I make sure I get my hands on a ticket. He would be my number 1 to meet.

Thierry Henry: As an Arsenal fan (sorry for any Tottenham or Manchester United fans reading, or any other supporters who do not like Arsenal) but I would not be a true fan without having this man on my list. Make sure you Entourage fans go and see the movie when it comes out! As King Theirry will be in it! The guy is a legend in sport full stop, let alone Arsenal Football Club.

He is no longer alive, but I would have had Nelson Mandela on this list. There aren’t too many people in history that have had a more influential impact on their nation than this man. I felt incredibly sad the day the world lost him, and I feel he deserves to remain on my list (even though I will never meet him).

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Neil Patrick Harris: One of my favorite shows ever is “How I Met your Mother” and I have always loved “Barney” as a character. NPH is someone I’ve always thought would be fun to meet, and I wouldn’t pass it up if the opportunity came.

Emma Watson: The first Harry Potter film was released when I was 9 years old. So naturally, I am a big fan. Who didn’t love Hermione as a character. Not to mention (sorry Talia, look away) that she has gotten hotter and hotter as she has grown up. She hasn’t let the child celebrity life intoxicate her in the way the likes of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus or Macaulay Culkin did. I have a lot of respect for what she stands for, and what she has chosen to do with her life after Harry Potter. I would love to meet Emma one day.

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Barrack Obama: That is six Luke. You moron! But given one of my first five I technically cannot meet, I am going to put another. A cliché I know, to put the American President on the list. But forget that he is President, forget his policies, and forget the bullshit of politics for a second, I like his personality. I like what he stands for. I respect the achievement he has accomplished in becoming the first African American to be President. I simply can’t leave Obama off my list.

So there you have it! You know a little bit about me. Give this post a like if you enjoyed it, and feel free to follow. I am interested in knowing who your top five celebrities to meet would be, so please comment your list. I look forward to writing posts that will entertain, motivate, and engage my readers. It’s all about life as Luke knows it!