Here at World Endeavors, we believe in the power of international learning experiences. In honor of this week’s opening of the 2016 Olympic Games, we wanted to bring to light a few ways that participating in sports and traveling can teach you similar lessons, in hopes that you will be able to practice those skills while interning abroad with World Endeavors!
#1 – You learn to work as a team.
Possibly one of the biggest takeaways that youth sports teach children is how to work with a team. Teamwork is essential to any sport, even individual activities like track & field and gymnastics. Working together to meet a goal is like traveling with a group of people or contributing during an international internship: it requires communication, understanding, and patience.
The skills you practice while exploring a new, unfamiliar city with people you just met may be the same ones you learned when you joined a new soccer team as a child—and working together to navigate a map in a foreign language so that you can catch that fantastic view may bring you back to your early days when you worked together with your team to score that perfect goal.
#2 – You learn that practice makes perfect.
Nothing in sports comes easy, especially as the stakes get higher and the competition gets better. You know that careful and repeated practice is what will help you achieve your goals, both in technique and in strength. The same can be said for international travel, especially when the language is unfamiliar to you and practice is the only way you will be able to understand the world around you.
In sports, your learn that you need to work hard to achieve your goals, and this will help you tremendously in the language learning department, in navigating your new city, and in being successful in your internship placement. You will have to work at it to refine your skills, but you know what you are capable of and you have a plan to achieve it.
#3 – You aren’t afraid to put yourself out there.
Sports require you to take risks, and they require you to push your body and mind to places they’ve never been before. From pushing yourself to run that extra mile, to competing in a stadium full of spectators, sports require you to constantly throw yourself outside your comfort zone and adapt both physically and mentally. After all, that is the only way to improve.
If there is one thing that we preach here at World Endeavors, it is the importance of putting yourself out there. Much like sports, travel forces this upon you. It pushes you outside your comfort zone to meet new people, explore new places, and learn so much than you could have ever imagined. Travel will exercise you—it will present you with new perspectives and ways of doing things, and while your mind and muscles may be confused, you will only be stronger because of it.
#4 – You will always crave victory.
In sports, victories are found in winning games, placing on the podium, and in reaching new heights and jumping over hurdles. You develop a deep longing to reach each victory, and a work ethic that will get you there. And when you win, the victory feels so sweet.
The same can be said about travel. There are small victories every day that you will experience. It starts with ordering off a menu correctly in your new foreign language to not getting lost on your way to school, and soon your victories will be summiting mountains and completing rigorous hikes, carrying on an in-depth conversation with a local, or truly feeling as though you’ve made a difference in your internship placement. No matter what, you will not be defeated.
There are so many ways that sports and travel can teach us similar lessons, but the only way to really learn is to put yourself out there and try things for yourself.
Get started today by interning abroad with World Endeavors! If sports really are your calling in life, consider a Sports Management or Coaching internship! Apply today and change your world.