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3 Core values we can all learn from playing soccer


Shutterstock / Gorynvd

Un entrenador da consejos a dos niños.

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/31/24

Sports can really bring out the best in us, and here's why soccer should be your game of choice.

As a British person with three brothers, I grew up surrounded by soccer, or football as it’s called back home. Any time my brothers watched a match, their cries of joy and frustration could be heard down the street. And when they played in their own matches, they spent hours analyzing their team’s performance and their own skills — which were obviously always very impressive!

It was the activity that united them when they were young, and still today as they grow older and pass on their passion to their own kids.

Although there are many worthy collective sports to play and support, there is something very unifying about soccer, especially as it’s a global sport. Most countries in the world have soccer teams, and in the poorest of countries the sport can be played with limited equipment.

It’s a sport that offers a playground for learning valuable lessons that resonate deeply within the Catholic community. Here are just a few:

Community spirit

Soccer fosters a sense of togetherness and teamwork. Just as members of a parish come together to support one another, players on a soccer team work towards a common goal. They learn the importance of cooperation, communication, and supporting one another both on and off the field. Through soccer, we understand the strength found in unity and the joy of working together towards shared objectives.

Time management

Soccer teaches valuable lessons in time management. Players must balance training sessions, matches, and personal commitments, which mirrors the balance needed in life. Similarly, Catholics learn to manage their time effectively by allocating moments for prayer, work, family, and community service.

By prioritizing responsibilities and making the most of each moment, both for those 90 precious minutes on the field and in life, individuals can achieve — and hopefully score — their goals while still nurturing their spiritual and personal well-being.

Embracing defeat with dignity

In soccer, as in life, defeats are inevitable. However, how we handle defeat speaks volumes about our character. Catholic teachings emphasize humility and grace in both victory and defeat. Through soccer, players learn to accept losses with dignity, acknowledging that setbacks are opportunities for growth and improvement.

They also learn the importance of perseverance and resilience, understanding that setbacks do not define them but rather provide valuable lessons for future success. By embracing defeat with dignity, players exemplify the virtues of humility, sportsmanship, and faith, inspiring others to do the same in their own lives.

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