5 Benefits of Playing Sports Abroad - by Sarah Daren

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

Sarah Daren is a featured writer on the Today Show website and has been a consultant for organizations across a number of industries including athletics, health and wellness, technology and education. When she's not caring for her children or watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.

Sarah Daren
Sarah Daren

It's common knowledge that playing sports can have a positive impact. Sports can help people develop character, shape their personality, and stay healthy. It can also help to strengthen communication skills and resilience, both of which are necessary for success in today's world.

Besides these benefits, however, an interest in sports could lead you abroad and help you experience new cultures and perspectives. Taking your interest in sports internationally can help you earn scholarships, build lifelong friendships, and give your more meaning and purpose in your life. Here are just 5 of the many great benefits of taking your athletic passions abroad.

international women's basketball

1. Sports and Athletics Can Open the Door to Opportunities

Traveling abroad can be tricky logistically and financially. Getting involved in sports programs is a great way to travel and explore opportunities abroad while having a strong support system to help you. There are so many incredible opportunities that are open to young people who play sports. Traveling sports teams and summer camps can combine the excitement of travel with the joy of playing on a team.

These kinds of opportunities can allow people to travel while they're still young, which can help them develop valuable skills they'll need in the future. Young people are hungry to learn and grow. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Younger generations love opportunity and growth, it's important for them to seize opportunity when they are young. 2 out of 3 millennials plan on leaving their jobs by 2020 because their leadership skills are not being developed. You never know what you might learn or who you might meet when you travel-you could find even more opportunities while you're abroad!

2. Gain Confidence and Inner Strength Being in a New Environment

Many people are scared to travel because they don't feel confident in their abilities to navigate a new environment. The only way to get rid of this fear is to face it and jump right in. Once you start to get comfortable when traveling, you'll find new confidence and inner strength that will help you at home as well as abroad. You might find that you gain grit, independence, adaptability, and maturity, too-all because you had to learn to rely on your own common sense and intuition in an unfamiliar place.

play with the best international players

3. Going Abroad Lets You Play with and Learn From the Best in Your Sport

Not all sports are equally common or celebrated in the United States. Sometimes, the real professionals are in other countries. Playing competitively abroad can sometimes challenge you in new ways and help you take your skills to a whole new level.

Some sports that are gaining popularity in the US include lacrosse and field hockey. You might not be able to advance to a certain level unless you play in a country like Scotland, where field hockey is at a higher level. Studying abroad, participating in a sports camp, or playing on a team where the best players in the sport happen to be can be an extremely valuable experience.

4. Broaden Perspectives and Learn About Cultures Beyond a Classroom

It's important to get experiences outside the classroom and learn more about the world beyond your community. Traveling as an athlete will help you broaden your perspectives and discover diverse cultures and perspectives. These experiences can help you build empathy and become a more conscious and well-rounded person.

5. Going Abroad for Athletics Gives You an Excuse to Travel

In the end, if you want to travel, athletics can give you a great excuse to hit the road. Whether you play sports or just enjoy watching others play, you can use your passion to push you to travel. It's always fun to meet other passionate people, attend big events, and have new athletic experiences. Who knows-maybe one day you'll even travel to be a part of the Olympic Games!

Everyone can benefit from travel, and when you use your passion for sports to explore and seek out new experiences, you'll become a more confident person with the skills you need to continue to grow and develop throughout your lifetime.

Articles by Sarah Daren