The Power of Sports

By Carson Messenger, CPA

For full disclosure, I am a lifelong, diehard Texas Longhorns, Texas Rangers, and Manchester City FC fan. While I don’t play organized sports anymore, my fandom for my teams has only grown stronger. To me, there is nothing better than waking up early on a fall Saturday to watch Man City play, then watching a Longhorns game in the afternoon, all while having my Rangers playing on a different TV. My wife may disagree with me, but I think my fandom keeps me balanced. The ability to channel my passion for sports into teams that I support helps me hold on to joy that sports used to give me when I played them as a kid.

In my opinion, the biggest benefit that comes from playing sports are the friendships that are made along the way. As cliché as it sounds, the comradery that is formed after spending multiple years of playing with the same kids can’t be matched. I personally think all the time spent practicing, and playing games together helps you build a friendship easier and quicker than through meeting kids at school. There is something about being thrown out on a field, or court, and being taught to work together towards a common goal that makes building trust, and friendship easier than anything else I have experienced in my life. As a kid, I started playing the 3 stereotypical kid sports (soccer, baseball, and basketball) with the same group of kids around the age of 5. Fast forward many years and seasons, and the friendships lasted and grew stronger. Even as a young professional, sports allow making new connections easier. From my experience, a great way to get to know new business connections is to discuss sports. The conversations start easier, and it makes the getting to know each other process more enjoyable.

Everyone makes friends differently, and have their own opinions about sports based on their own experiences. One thing that can’t be denied are the health benefits associated with playing sports. According to a 2014 study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, afterschool physical activity programs would reduce childhood obesity in 6-to 12-year-old kids better than any ban on child-directed fast-food advertising. Ask any friend with young kids, and I’m sure the majority would say they would rather their kids be physically active than playing on electronics. The same health benefits apply for adults that participate in sports, whether it’s a team sport or an individual sport. Also, there are mental health, and psychological benefits to sports that can’t be understated. Sports can teach you how to properly manage stress, improve self-confidence, and teach people how to work properly in a team environment.

As a dad of an 18-month-old daughter, I will always to let her play any sport she wants. I want to give her the opportunity to learn all of those skills, meet new people, and maybe develop a passion of sports similar to mine along the way that will be carried on throughout her life. I just hope I never hear her say the words, “Boomer Sooner,” “Gig ‘em,” or “Glory, Glory Man United.” I just might have a heart attack.

Carson Messenger, CPA | Senior Accountant