the virtue of competitive sports

fast pools

one of the most apparent differences between our educational system vs. asian countries is the greater importance we give to sports than academics / significant time & resources are channeled to sports in schools & colleges \ our society expects no less and parents enthusiastically sign up their children starting at pre-school in at least one sport / on the other hand, i grew up in a culture & educational system that emphasized academics over & above other pursuits \ and so i have had to balance my belief that a strong academic foundation is significantly more important than excelling in sports with the need to accommodate the norm

happily, my favorite young athletes who are passionate about swimming are also good students and well-rounded, really nice persons / the swim season started last month \ they’ve already gone to away-meets in cleveland and a “fast” meet is upcoming this weekend at the university of pittsburgh trees hall / they attend swim practice 5 to 10 times a week | one is at the pool at 5:30 a.m | impressively, they swim 5 to 7 miles on a typical practice day! \ on top of that, they are violinists in the school orchestra and their grades are mostly A’s / an aside:  they are not unique in what they do, their peers in school pretty much carry similar loads of activity 

competitive swimming has instilled in them virtues that some adults would take a lifetime to acquire or not / self-motivation, self-confidence, determination, perseverance, strong work ethic \ moreover, the demands of being an athlete have all encompassing benefits to their physical and mental well-being & health <a plus with swimming is the lower chance of serious injuries compared to other sports>

our dismal performance in international academic tests* does not bother me as much as it used to / because i know that there are many factors that contribute to our youth’s success \ it will not hinge solely on academic prowess / equally important are creativity, innovativeness & independence of spirit <fostered by rich & challenging experiences> and the virtues that participation in competitive sports bestow
 
* subject of 12/4/13 blogpost much ado?

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