Socrates once said something that sounded like ‘’I know I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing’’. Tiger Woods, at the time he was considered half a god, approached knowledge and proficiency in another interesting way: “No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part”. I always thought it was such inspiring approaches to self-development.

Back when I was in 4th grade, I used to think I still had a long way to go in school. At the time, education seemed more linear to me. I thought I’d grow up, go to school, learn, and all of sudden know everything I needed to once I was done with what I considered the standard school procedure. So, although I felt far away from the finish line, I understood the goal. Over time, I realized my 4th grade self was wrong about that (and probably some other things too…). Education was not linear, but continuous. And looking back, I believe it’s not in classes that I learned most.

The other night, I had this inner conversation with myself (happens quite a lot), and was thinking about the influence sports had in my life, especially in forming my personality, fueling my passions, and directing how I interact with others. Like any other athlete would probably admit, I would not be the same guy without all those games, trainings, practices, victories, crushing defeats, doubts, celebrations, coaches, and teammates.

My short career in sports helped me learn valuable lessons and I feel grateful that I had the chance to go through many life-changing experiences over the years. To this day, I am convinced organized sports provide the best education avenue.I could tell you sports teached me discipline, hard work, and respect.

Although it surely did, I also had the chance to go through more concrete lessons. Here are some of them.

Humility is self-confidence.

I always felt like the strong leaders in the different teams I played with were able to stay away from tensions with the help of sincere humility. I looked up to these guys, and they helped me realize that true self-confidence is being humble.

Give, and you’ll receive!

You can’t expect anything in life if you don’t give. Perform, and you’ll get playing time. Be generous, and you’ll earn respect. Be dedicated, and people will salute your motivation. Those are all things I really understood because of sports.

Pursue a passion.

Through my many years in sports, I was able to comprehend how important it is to pursue something that you’re really passionate about. Not only it provides a daily dose of happiness to undertake something you love, but it’s also the greatest way to be a good at what you do.

Success is worth sacrifices.

Sports made me fall in love with success. Whether it’s team accomplishments or individual honors, there is always something to go after in the world of sports. Every little achievement made me proud, and still today I believe my desire to succeed is directly linked to how inspired I felt after important team victories, clutch goals, or late-game comebacks.Above everything, I believe athletics provide individuals with the will to continuously improve in all aspects of their lives.That, I think, is the single most important concept somebody can learn.