“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.” (Nelson Mandela) The world is made up of over 7 billion people, each one with goals, ideas, and interests different from the person next to them. Can sport really change the world, affect the entire population of different and unique individuals? Perhaps an opinion of one of these individuals would serve more useful than a fact of another. Sport may not have the power to change to world, but one thing sport does have is the power to cause change. Change within a body, change within actions, change within a mind. A mind is a careful and delicate gift, a gift which can be lead astray or forward with only a few simple words. However, the essay in your grasp was not written to discuss the fragile nature of a mind, nor the words, which can shape said mind. Sport is action, and the mind perceives action differently than it does words. Only one question remains, does sport have the power to change a mind? Long before Nelson Mandela would ever say the quote from the previous paragraph, I was born, to a mother who came from a tennis family, and a father, who played division one soccer in college. At the age of four, my parents began to engage me in soccer, part of the reason being the source of exercise, and the other being the interaction with other children. I hated playing soccer, constantly wishing I were at home watching SpongeBob, or eating candy, but my father, who was also my coach, revealed a piece of advice I am still yet to let go of. My dad said to me, “We can go home after the game, but don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” I went back out there and scored an own goal to end the game, no, not on purpose. I have never really understood soccer, and I most likely never will, but I do appreciate the short time period where I played. I didn’t become a better athlete, but what my father said to me would be all the inspiration I needed to strive for greatness. As I continued to age, my mother would sign me up for other sports. After my short-lived stretch with soccer, I began taking classes in Tae Kwon Do, a Korean form of martial arts. The experience I faced with Tae Kwon Do was very beneficial. I started with no prior knowledge of martial arts or other self-defense techniques, but I was able to apply what my father taught me and gained a natural need to work hard. I wanted to accomplish as much as I could while I was practicing, and eventually, I finished with a black belt, and moved on to another sport, Swimming. However one key fact must be noted before moving forward. Being four years old at the time of playing soccer, I could not truly grasp what a team was. Tae Kwon Do and swimming also proved to individual rather than collective, taking away the value of a team. There is only one sport in which I learned the values of teamwork, dedication, and self-discipline to work hard and improve, and it is the sport in which I participate in today, Football.
I began playing football about during my fifth grade year, and since then, I have never been the same person. One day