It may sound silly at first, but there are insights to be gained from watching and playing football. It’s not just fun and games. 

For example, in football, you win and lose as a team; no one person carries or defeats the team by himself. Football helps you understand that win or lose, you do it as a team. You don’t take all the credit when a group project succeeds, nor do you take all the blame if the project fails. You might have the best game you’ve ever played, but the team still loses. In life, you become part of many teams, from family units to groups of co-workers. These people rely on you, and you on them, to meet certain goals which requires collaboration. This team process entails building strong communication skills, so that plans, roles, and expectations are clear to all teammates (or co-workers).

Taking risks, such as a 75 yard pass attempt, can lead to failure, but can also end in an amazing victory. This is true in life as well. Learning to take risks means you open the door to new ideas and interesting ventures, even if they might fail. Taking risks that don’t work out helps you handle mistakes, learning from them and making changes to improve future decisions. This also means learning to deal with other people’s mistakes, whether that person is a referee who makes an incorrect call or a family member who exercised poor judgment.

Even the best football teams lose occasionally, which is an important lesson for life. A loss in football can energize the team, who then band together to improve skills through extra practices. The same is true in life, use the loss to help refocus your energies on how to win next time.

Football helps you build other valuable skills as well. It teaches the importance of attitude, how a good attitude can invigorate others as well as yourself. And that you can always be better, with practice and hard work. And whether you win or lose a game, do so with dignity and respect for the other teams’ players. Roles and teammates continually change, and you may find yourselves in the same huddle in the near future.