Why Athletes Should Give Back to the Community
There are many reasons that athletes should give back to their community, and these include both altruistic and personal reason.
Charity and giving back can mean many different things.
· Holding a fundraiser, such as a bake sale or car wash, in order to raise funds for an organization.
· Volunteering your time at a nonprofit organization.
· Volunteering your time helping someone you know needs assistance, such as walking an elderly neighbor’s dog.
· Using your skills to coach or mentor younger players.
· Giving money, even a small amount, or items, such as clothes, to a worthy cause.
Laura Grace Weldon lists a lot more ways for teenagers to volunteer on her site. Whatever way you choose to give back does not matter so much. What is important is that you do it.
You Are a Role Model
Whether you like it or not, if you are an athlete, you are also a role model. Younger players look up to you. They want to follow in your footsteps. While the specific footsteps they want to follow happen to be on the court, track, or field, it does not matter. You can influence them in a positive or negative way. So try to make it positive.
Part of your duty as a role model is just to be a good sport.
· Don’t get angry when something does not go your way.
· Win with grace.
· Lose with an equal amount of grace.
· Be nice to your teammates and the other team.
If you do this for the young kids watching you, you are already giving back to the community. However, you can do more.
Volunteering for local charities will show the young kids the importance of giving back. And if their role model is doing it, they will be more likely to want to do it.
You could always just volunteer at a local youth center or on a sports league for younger kids and just jump straight to the kids you are mentoring.
It Looks Good on an Application
While volunteering should not be done for purely self-interested reasons, there are many reasons to give back that help you out.
While if this was your only reason for volunteering, you might as well just do something else, when you volunteer, it looks good on your college applications.
Colleges like well-rounded individuals. Athletes already have an advantage because they can put down the sport they played as an extracurricular activity. However, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, then you want to do more than that.
A stellar application for an athlete will have great grades and test scores, sports, including school, club, and travel teams, and other activities.
Other activities could consist of club memberships or teams, a job, or numerous other things. But putting volunteering down both shows that you can handle a full-work load and that you are charitable. Both facts look good on a college app.
It’s a Nice Thing to Do
One of the most obvious reasons to help out others is that it is a nice thing to do.
Think about all of the things that different types of volunteering can bring.
· The elderly neighbor whose dog you walked does not have to worry about her beloved pet that gives her companionship even though it is hard for her to walk herself.
· The winter clothes you donated to charity went to someone who may not have been able to afford warm without it.
· The kids you coached developed the same love of the sport that you have.
· The bake sale you held not only raised a lot of money, but it also built community spirit in those around you.
Your volunteering matters because of all the nice things it does for the people around you.
It’s Can Be a Great Way to Pass on Your Knowledge
If you do choose to mentor, tutor, or coach the youth in your community as part of your efforts to give back, it is a great way to pass on your knowledge to those who are coming up after you.
Think about all that you have to teach.
· All the skills you have learned from years playing the sport, taking lessons, going to field hockey camp, and honing your talent.
· The lesson you have learned in your personal life, such as how to avoid trouble, etc.
· Facts and figures you have learned in school.
· Study tips and advice on how to learn those facts and figures in school.
You have a lot of knowledge, so show it off a little. By passing on your knowledge, you get to help others while showing how great you are. Just don’t be cocky about it.
One of the best things about giving back is that it is fun. Helping others is fun in a lot of ways.
· You get that feeling of doing good things for others.
· You get to see the gratitude on people’s faces.
· You can volunteer at places you will enjoy – such as coaching the sport you love, building houses if you like working with your hands, delivering meals on wheels if you like to drive, or however else you enjoy spending your time.
Choosing a volunteer activity allows you to test out areas that you are not sure that you would like but think you might. It can help you pick out a future career.
For example, maybe you volunteer at a nursing home and realize that you love it and would like to make a career of it. See? Volunteering can help you find what you are passionate about. It’s fun.
It’s Easy to Do
The thing about volunteering is that it can be very easy to do. Just volunteer, show up, and follow instructions. Or simply donate something. For all the good that you can do for so little effort, what are you waiting for?