What does sports mean to me? Up until this point I have never really thought about that question or what the answer might be. Sports have just always been a part of my life ever since I was little. To find an answer, I decided to look back in time and explore my involvement with sports.
A lot of my involvement with sports, wether it be playing or watching, stems from my family, especially my dad. When I was just a baby, my dad had me watch soccer (or football as it is known in Europe and most of the world) matches and Formula 1 races with him. Being Germans, we naturally cheered for the German Men’s National Soccer Team and Michael Schumacher, who was racing for Ferrari at the time. My dad was also a big fan of the German soccer club FC Bayern Munich, so by extension I decided that I was also going to be a FC Bayern fan.
As I grew up and became more conscious of the world and watched these teams and athletes compete, I developed a deep passion for them and their success, and the sports as well. Due to the fact that I was watching the teams and athletes I was loyal to on TV all the time, I became more and more interested in their sports overall. Throughout the years I spent hours reading, watching, checking stats, and learni
g the different athletic and technical aspects of soccer and Formula 1, making my passion even stronger.
Considering that I spent so many hours consuming soccer, it would make sense that I would play the sport too; and that’s exactly what I did. When I was big enough, my parents signed me up to play in a soccer league, and over the years I have fallen in love with the beautiful game. This love for the game is what motivated me to train hard when I played soccer in my leagues and in high school, and it’s what motives me to keep playing to this day. Although I don’t really play competitively anymore, I still enjoy recreational leagues, a friendly kick around, or just working on my skills on my own.
I have also played tennis throughout different points in my life. Recently while on internship with DiloneStill, I accompanied two professional tennis players to a tournament where I became inspired to start playing again. What I thought would be just playing for fun eventually turned into me join the varsity tennis team at Albion College during my senior year. While I enjoy tennis as a sport and following the pros on TV, in this sport I am motivated by competition and constantly becoming better. That is why when I am on the court I am focused on leaving the court better than when I entered it.
As you grow older you also evolve as a sports fan. The more soccer I watched, the stronger and stronger my passions for the sport got. If you ever happen to watch a match with me don’t be surprised if I’m screaming at the TV when the referee makes a bad call, or if I am running around screaming after my team scores a goal. Over the past two years I have also found a passion for attending live sporting events, especially to watch the University of Michigan Football Team and Detroit City FC. The fans of these two teams accept newcomers like family and create such an intense and exhilarating atmosphere that is hard to match.
So what does sports mean to me? Sports mean passion. The fact that you feel so attached and dedicated to a team, that you go through the emotions with the players when they hit their highs and lows, that something can unite so many different people, and that they are something you can love amazes me. Sports mean competition. Just like in many other areas of your life there is competition in sport. But what is amazing about this competition is that it drives you to work hard and constantly improve, striving to become the best you can be, while being challenged psychically
and mentally. The way sports make you feel and how sports motivate you and influence your behavior is just simply amazing.