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  • Writer's pictureEmily Robinson

Passions and Principles: Sports Addition




By: Emily Robinson


Passions and principles are often used in tangent, and one is hardly ever spoken of without the other, but what are they, and why are they so important? Passions are those activities, causes, or pursuits that ignite your soul, bring you joy, and make you feel alive. Engaging in activities that align with your passions makes you feel energized, motivated, and fulfilled. They give you a sense of direction and drive, shaping your goals and aspirations. Principles, on the other hand, are your deeply held beliefs and values. They are the moral code by which you live your life, guiding your decisions, actions, and interactions with others. When you uphold your principles, you feel a sense of integrity, authenticity, and alignment with your true self. When you combine your passions with your principles, you create a powerful sense of purpose. Your passions give you the drive to pursue meaningful goals and make a positive impact in areas that matter to you, while your principles provide the ethical framework that ensures you do so in a way that is true to who you are and what you stand for. Living a purpose-driven life means channeling your passions and principles into actions that contribute to something greater than yourself, whether advancing a cause you believe in, creating art that inspires others, helping those in need, or making a difference in your community. It's about finding fulfillment in what you do, why you do it, and how it aligns with your deepest values and desires.


Defining Passions

Let’s break this down and consider what defines and distinguishes our passions and principles. First, passions. Passions are intense emotions or strong desires toward specific activities, interests, or causes that deeply resonate with you. Passions fuel your enjoyment of sports by motivating you to engage in activities that genuinely excite and energize you. Participating in sports that align with your passions makes you more likely to experience fulfillment and joy in your athletic endeavors. When involved with your passions, you will likely find that you feel:

  • Alive

  • Energized and motivated 

  • Fully engaged and eager to learn more

Your passions often reflect your values, interests, talents, and curiosities, and they can vary significantly from person to person. Below are some tips and tricks to help you pinpoint your passions. 


  1. Reflect on what excites you. 

Think about the activities or topics that excite you the most. What do you love to do in your free time? What subjects do you enjoy learning about? Pay attention to the moments when you feel most engaged and enthusiastic.


  1. Think about what matters most to you. 

Consider your values, beliefs, and the causes you deeply care about. What issues are you super passionate about? What changes would you like to see in the world? Your passions may be closely tied to your desire to make a difference in specific areas.


  1. Notice your emotional responses.

Pay attention to your emotional reactions to different experiences or activities. What makes you feel excited, inspired, or fulfilled? What tasks or projects do you find yourself needing to catch up on while doing?


  1. Reflect on childhood interests.

Think back to your childhood interests and hobbies. What activities did you love to do as a child? Sometimes, our passions are rooted in experiences from our early years. 


  1. Experiment and be open-minded.

Be willing to explore new interests and try things outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes, your passions may surprise you, so keep an open mind and be willing to experiment.


Defining Principles

Defining your principles is a deeply personal process involving introspection, reflection, and understanding the values most important to you. Principles provide a moral compass for ethical conduct and sportsmanship in sports. Upholding principles such as integrity, respect, fairness, and sportsmanship fosters a positive and respectful sporting environment where athletes compete with honor and integrity. Below are some tips on how to identify what your principles may be.


  1. Reflect on Your Values. 

Think about what matters most to you in life. Consider your beliefs, ethics, and morals. What virtues do you admire in others? What do you want to stand for? Determine the fundamental principles that guide your behavior and decision-making. These could include honesty, integrity, compassion, responsibility, fairness, etc.


  1. Consider Personal Experiences. 

Reflect on experiences that have shaped you and influenced your beliefs. What lessons have you learned from these experiences? How have they impacted your principles?


  1. Seek Feedback.

Share your principles with trusted friends, family members, or mentors and ask for their feedback. They may offer valuable insights and perspectives to help you refine your principles further. Sometimes, it’s easier for others to see qualities within ourselves that we can so easily overlook. 


  1. Review and Revise. 

Periodically review your principles to ensure that they still resonate with you. Life experiences and circumstances may cause your principles to evolve. Be open and willing to revise them as needed.


Remember, defining your principles is an ongoing process. It's okay if your principles evolve as you grow and learn more about yourself and the world around you. The important thing is to stay true to yourself and live in alignment with your values. Put your principles into practice in your daily life. Make decisions and take actions that align with your values. This may require courage and integrity, especially when faced with difficult choices.





Aligning Passions and Principles


So now we’ve talked about what passions and principles are and discussed potential ways to identify your uniqueness, so how can we merge the two? Aligning passions with principles is essential for leading a purposeful, fulfilling life that reflects who you are and what you stand for. It brings greater harmony between your internal values and external actions, leading to a more meaningful existence. Having aligned passions and principles can provide strength and resilience when faced with challenges or setbacks. For example, when you miss the winning shot, miss an 8” putt, or simply don't get the playing time you think you deserve on the field, you will find you are better equipped to persevere and overcome these obstacles because you're guided by a strong internal compass. 


So, look for connections between what excites you and what you deeply value. Setting defined, specific goals that integrate your passions and principles is a great way to align the two and determine how to pursue your interests in a way that honors your values. 


Trying to implement passions and principles into a life of sports may include some of the following:

Principles:

  • Incorporating your principles into your training regiment. 

  • Focus on developing and improving your skills while competing with integrity and respect for yourself and others.

  • Treating opponents and teammates respectfully, regardless of what’s on the scoreboard. Win or lose, handle the outcome with dignity and grace by celebrating victories humbly and learning from defeats with resilience and a positive attitude. 

  • Practice good sportsmanship by shaking hands, congratulating opponents, and showing appreciation for your teammates’ efforts.

  • Abide by the rules of the game and play fair at all times. Avoid cheating, unsportsmanlike conduct, and attempts to gain unfair advantages over opponents.

  • Lead by example and portray your principles through your actions, attitude, and behavior. This behavior may encourage others to follow suit. 

  • Support your teammates and encourage a positive team culture by offering praise, effective communication, and group collaboration.

  • Set personal goals, seek feedback from coaches and teammates, and strive to reach your full potential while upholding your principles.

Passions:

  • Embrace the journey of pursuing your passion in sports, rather than solely focusing on the end result. Find joy in the process of training, learning, and competing, regardless of the outcome.

  • Stay committed to your passion for sports by maintaining a consistent practice routine and persevering through challenges and setbacks. Your dedication and perseverance will deepen your connection to the sport over time.

  • Use sports as a platform for creative self-expression. Experiment with different techniques, strategies, and playing styles that allow you to showcase your unique strengths and abilities.

  • Immerse yourself in the world of sports by surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, whether it's teammates, coaches, or fellow enthusiasts.

  • Seek out opportunities to experience "flow," a state of optimal engagement and enjoyment where you're fully immersed in the present moment. 

  • Establish goals that resonate with your passions and aspirations in sports. These could be related to performance, skill development, personal achievements, or participation in specific events.


By living by your principles in sports, you become a better athlete and contribute to a positive and respectful sporting environment for yourself and others. By living by your passions, you'll find greater fulfillment, motivation, and enjoyment in your athletic pursuits, enriching your overall experience on and off the field. Passions and principles contribute to long-term engagement and participation in sports. When athletes are passionate about their involvement and adhere to their principles, they're more likely to sustain their interest in sports, leading to continued participation and enjoyment. In summary, passions and principles are essential elements of sports that enhance enjoyment, motivation, personal growth, ethical conduct, and the game's positive impact. They contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful athletic experience for athletes and promote a culture of respect, integrity, and sportsmanship in the sporting community.



By: Emily Robinson

MTP Digital Content Intern




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