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Sports and the military: When does your team become your family?

Brotherhood, a term referring to family, is an essential characteristic for both athletes competing at high levels and soldiers battling in brutal conditions. The word brotherhood for athletes means a lifelong friendship that will never break, regardless of any outside conditions. Furthermore, on the field (court, track, and rink) this term of family is understood as having each other’s back and pushing your teammate to their full potential. Brotherhood in the military means you will, without question, put your life at risk for that person. When a teammate is fouled or you are caught in crossfire, you would instinctively run into the chaos of incoming bullets for that individual. When comparing sports and the military, the main takeaway is that they are similar concepts on the surface however different when you take a deeper look internally.

Athletes typically begin their training at a young age. From this time of when they are beginning their chosen sport, they are working endlessly to make themselves better. Athletes are always training to become their best, meeting with physical trainers and coaches, one on one, to increase their chances of making it as a professional in that sport. Athletes, however, are very individualistic, regardless of how many teammates they have had throughout their life or how many times they pushed their teammate to their fullest, they will never have the same brotherhood bond as the men and women do in the military. For military men and women, training begins at an older age. From the first day they walk in the room, they are taught the words “I, me, my, are no longer in your vocabulary, they will be replaced by we, together, us”(Simon Sinek). The military's culture of brotherhood is an irreplaceable one and although sports team’s around the world display a similar bond, there is no real comparison when you take the concepts a step further.

How can a similar type of brotherhood be engraved in these athletes, from the time they begin their chosen sport, the way the military engraves teamwork in their culture? When practicing, take advantage of ground breaking technologies the world is offering currently, like that of the mindful athlete training where (teams) groups of 8 can come into a performance lab and work with each other while getting better individually. This type of work is extremely beneficial because it promotes chemistry within your group as well as practice techniques of leadership. Teach your kids what it means to be on a team, from the moment they begin playing on one.

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