Before stepping foot on the university of Michigan campus I was not a fan of football. It was The Big Housenever a sport that interested me in any way shape or form. I have watched and attended a lot of sporting events throughout my life thus far, but football games had yet to make the list. After I committed here for wrestling, I continually received the question “ have you ever been to the big house?” I honestly did not know what people where referring to as “The big house.” I googled big house in found out that it was the biggest stadium in the united states, and third largest on the planet. I then became very excited about going to the big house.

After attending my first football game I instantly became a fan of the sport. I am not sure if it came from the drunken teenagers around me screaming profanity or the game itself. But it also made me think about how there is a large amount of our time and energy focused on football here at Michigan. On game days Ann Arbor is a riot, there are people from all over the country coming back to support the wolverines. How important is not only football but sports in general for achieving success after college? Is there a bigger picture that non athletes does not see?

Louis Menand, in the reading “Live and Learn: why we have college?” presents three different educational theories.

1. Produce workers.

2. Produce competent citizens.

3.Split people up into the best, the average, and the weak.

It is shocking to me that playing some sort of sport, is not mentioned in Menand’s theories. There is a large combination of important life lessons you can take from playing sports in general. More specifically the sport of wrestling can shape who you are as a person. During wrestling matches character is built. The coaches are positioned as a extra set of eyes, but all in all everything is on you. So whether you win or lose there is no one else to blame but yourself. Wrestling also helps to build self discipline. You have to develop discipline and a work ethic that is difficult to find in the general society. You have to learn to diet and maintain a certain weight at a young age in order to be eligible to compete every week.

Most teenagers in america will never know what it like to cut down the portions of there food or even skip a few meals in order to be at your projected weight. Wrestling is a individual sport, but there is also a team component which helps teaches the importance of working together. Learning the importance of working together is something that you can use throughout your life no matter the profession. Dedication, work ethic, ability to overcome obstacles, humility, persistence, courage, confidence, respect. I can go on forever with the things that not only wrestling teaches you outside of the sport but collegiate athletics in general. I think that sports teaches you more about functioning in life then school.

There are kids who are excellent scholars, but lack self confidence. There are more kids that can perform in the class room but, can not hold a conversation because they lack social skills. These are the things that school does not necessarily teach you but you can find in a sports.

This is for those of you who have never seen a wrestling match! Jordan Burrughs #1 wrestler in the world.

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  1. I agree that being an athlete does have its many positives towards growing as an adult and facing real life situations at a young age. When you talk about maintaining a weight so that you can compete each week, yes a big part of it is the competition aspect but how you go about keeping that weight the same is a big process. I’m sure it takes a lot of time management skill and dedication which is a big part when trying to succeed in the real world.

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