TAKE 5 with USA Softball's Jolene Henderson


Youth Sports Article TAKE 5 on youth sports life lessons

USA Softball Jolene Henderson on life lessons from playing softball and youth sports

From lifelong friendships to powerful life lessons to everlasting memories of thrilling victories, there are many reasons for your kids to play sports.

As a parent, you can encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports. With so many other factors and activities pulling them in different directions, it’s important to properly frame and discuss the many rewards of playing sports.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ sat down with USA Softball's Jolene Henderson to get her thoughts on the importance of playing sports along with the life lessons she learned.

Jolene Henderson

Jolene is a pitcher and infielder who recently graduated from University of Cal Berkeley. At Cal, she was the all-time winningest pitcher with 130 wins. She made her Olympic debut as part of a young pitching trio in 2014. 

1. What is the biggest life lesson you believe you learned through sports?

The biggest life lesson I have learned through sports is how to impact lives. You learn how to make people better and that is what makes you better. The ability that teammates have on each other’s attitudes is astounding and learning how to affect people positively in life is what makes the world better.

2. What other life lessons do you think are essential for kids to learn from sports?

Be present in the present and be passionate about it. That means every moment of life be in that moment because it is only at that moment where you can make what you want of life. Passion is what makes being alive so amazing. Passion is what people see and get the goose bumps from, it is what inspires people to achieve and do what they love. So every moment that you have a chance to do what you love, do it with passion and you will never regret anything.

3. What kinds of discussions did you and your parents have about life lessons in sports?

My parents always instilled in me to never quit and to take each challenge presented in front of me and find a way to overcome it. We talked about how that set a fire in my mind for competition and it made me push to always want to make myself better than I was before, to never put myself against others but to be better than I was yesterday. What I have learned through my passion of playing is that I am passionate about living and making people feel that they are important.

4. Who was the greatest influence on your life from your sports career? What was their influence off-the-field?

My parents influenced me greatly on and off the field because they are what made my sports career possible. They are what gave me the tools to succeed and the mental capabilities to believe in myself that I could succeed. Softball is a portion of my life but because of the confidence I have formed through sports I exude the belief in myself and others in every other realm of my life, so without my parents influence who knows where I would be.

5. Why should kids today participate in softball?

Softball gives you an opportunity to become strong. It shows you how to become a good person, to believe in yourself and to believe in others, it gives you a chance to fight adversity and deal with constructive criticism but above all, it gives a portal for your passion and sparks a love for life.

Come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 Interview.

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