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The Joy of Play

There are few activities in life that elicit more emotion than sporting competitions. I had the extreme pleasure of attending the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four this past weekend. Entering the stadium on Friday revealed quadrants inhabited by fans of the four teams. Green and Gold for Notre Dame; Maroon for Mississippi State; Blue for UConn; and Red for Louisville. Fans dressing alike in school colors reveal their shared camaraderie of belonging to an “extended family” rooting for their common team.  There is a deep satisfaction in this belonging. It gives us a sense of purpose and passion in connection.

As the games were played, the incredible emotions from the head coaches, to the players to every spectator was apparent. The ups and downs; the highs and lows revealed a range of feelings: joy; pain; exhilaration; exhaustion; elation; devastation; relief, anger; pride; satisfaction. This coming together around a sporting event adds a richness to the lives of all involved. It is certainly more fun to be associated with the Winning team (as this ND fan can attest); however throughout the game, we are stretched and we grow from the process...and it keeps us coming back for more.

Whether it is a collegiate National Championship or a fourth grade basketball game in a local school, remember to appreciate the "Joy of Play". Congratulations to Notre Dame Women’s Basketball 2018 National Champions!

If you want to read more on “The Joy of Play,” Play Like a Champion provided this Coach Note on the topic earlier this year.

This post was written by Kristin Sheehan, Director of Outreach for Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series.

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