TAKE 5 with Navy Wrestling's Nate Engel

By Liberty Mutual Insurance | Aug. 18, 2014, 10:57 a.m. (ET)

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 Wrestling standout Nate Engelto get his thoughts on the importance of playing sports along with the life lessons he learned.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview Natetold us that he believes the biggest life lesson taught by sports is that anything truly enjoyable or valuable must be earned in life – the hard way.

“I learned that nothing comes easy,” said Nate. “You have to work to be the best, whether it’s in sports or life. Nothing is going to be handed to you; it’s done through hard work.”

Nate believes that sports can naturally teach today’s kids this and other valuable life lessons.

“I think [it’s important] they are taught hard work, perseverance, [to have a] strong mind, and just the ability to understand that maybe the first time you try something, it’s not going to come easy,” said Nate, who recently joined the wrestling coaching staff at the U.S. Naval Academy. “As long as you put the hard work in, you can be successful at achieving your dreams.”

Nate said thathis parents taught and showed him the value of hard work when he was growing up.

“My dad was always talking about hard work,” said Nate. “My dad’s side of the family was involved in the Holocaust, and many of them passed away. Some of them had to work in the camps, and he always taught me that nothing can be as tough as going through that.”

Nate said that the sport of wrestling offers several compelling reasons for kids to practice and compete on the mat – along with many valuable lessons to be learned.

“I think kids today should participate in wrestling because it teaches hard work, discipline and the ability to overcome obstacles,” said Nate. “Wrestling also makes you independent, [learning] that you’re the only one that can do it. Your coach can only teach you so much. When you’re on the mat, it’s only you.”

According to Nate, there’s no other sport quite like wrestling.

“I think it’s a great sport, and there is nothing else in the world like it,” said Nate. “Just like Dan Gable said, ‘Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Nate, visitPlayPositive.com. And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the mat.

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