Entertainment Love and Romance What Sports Can Teach You About Marriage Share PINTEREST Email Print HeroImages Love and Romance Relationships Sexuality Divorce Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Sheri Stritof University of Nevada, Las Vegas Sheri Stritof has written about marriage and relationships for 20+ years. She's the co-author of The Everything Great Marriage Book. our editorial process Sheri Stritof Updated March 25, 2019 Married couples can learn and apply enduring life lessons such as responsibility, respect, and fairness for their marriage from sports. Here are lessons the two of you can learn from popular sports. Baseball: Keep them guessing. This doesn't mean expecting your mate to read your mind. It means keeping some mystery and delight in your marriage. Basketball: Wait for the right moment. Although you should pick the right time to have a difficult conversation, don't wait too long before having the talk. If you waited for 48 hours, you waited too long. Bicycling: Know when to change gears. There are times when a decision you made together just doesn't work out. Don't say 'I told you so!' Reevaluate the decision without blaming one another for the mistake. Bodybuilding: Appreciate the importance of rest and the value of getting a good night's sleep. Since the two of you will spend nearly one-third of your lives sleeping together, talk about your different sleep preferences and come up with solutions so you can both sleep soundly. Boxing: Stay out of the corner. As a married couple, you will have disagreements. Don't hide in a corner, walk on eggshells, or fear rocking the boat. One of the keys to a successful relationship is knowing how to handle conflict. Camping: Before you fall asleep, make sure that the campfire is out. Although we don't recommend staying up all night to finish an argument, we do think you should set a time within 24 hours to continue the discussion. Cheerleading: A successful cheerleader never stops learning and looks for ways to improve skills. When it comes to marriage, there is always more to learn and more ways to enhance your relationship. Learn together how to make your marriage a great one. Climbing: Build better anchors to stay safe. If you want to have a long-lasting marriage, one of the "anchors" should be showing your love for one another on a regular basis. Diving: Don't balk, almost ever. Don't develop a habit of stopping every time you think something wasn't exactly perfect. Accept that your marriage won't be perfect all the time, but there are ways to move from a sense of disappointment. Exercise: You need to set specific goals. Finances are one of the areas in your marriage where goals are extremely important. Talk with one another about your financial goals, both short-term and long-term. Figure Skating: Be aware of what keeps you centered. Even though your volunteer work may give you a sense of joy and fulfillment, if the time away from your spouse is creating problems, you should know when to say no to others and yes to your spouse. Fly Fishing: Have patience. It is going to take time. If there has been betrayal in your marriage, in order to heal and to forgive, you will need to give one another time. The healing process does not happen quickly. Football: The object of football is to get the ball in your end zone more than your opponent. Don't sabotage your marriage. In order to reach your goals as a couple, you need to work together as a team. Freshwater Fishing: The GPS is an invaluable tool. A new woman in our lives, a GPS unit, has a pleasant voice and keeps us from getting lost. Golf: You're never too old. As you approach the second half of your marriage, relish the quiet moments of your empty nest home and find ways to enjoy having alone time together. Gymnastics: Along with strength, flexibility is critical to being successful in gymnastics. Don't let stress, hurt feelings, unexpressed expectations, and miscommunication ruin your holidays. Keep the lines of communication open between the two of you and be willing to be flexible. Hockey: A shootout in hockey is preceded by a two-minute break. There may be times when you are having a disagreement, that you need to give one another space. We're not talking about a separate vacation in the middle of an argument, but giving your spouse some time to gather his/her thoughts can result in a more healthy discussion. Horse Riding: After a fall, do a quick assessment and check for injuries. Figure out why you fell off, avoid making the same mistake. There is no way to completely avoid falling off a horse. If you make a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, fix it, and don't repeat it. Hunting: Know when to turn back. One way to know when to throw in the towel on your marriage or to know when your marriage has reached the point of no return is to ask yourself some key questions. Inline Skating: Know your expectations. Make time to discuss and fine tune your expectations about marriage Martial Arts: Start off in a strong position. Along with taking a pre-marriage course, learn about what you can do before you get married to lower your odds of divorce. Also, it is never too early or late to seek help to solidify that bond. NASCAR: You can win without being the fastest. Taking one step after another as you journey together through life, is one way to stay connected and to make time to slow down. Paddling: Getting out of your kayak can be tricky. Dealing with relocating can be tricky, too. Make sure as you make your plans that you share both your hopes and fears about the move. Paintball: A key to having fun in paintball is to have everyone on the same page.To make sure you don't put yourselves or your marriage relationship on hold, talk about how the two of you can connect with each other each day. Pilates: Using a fitness ball challenges you to stay balanced.Keep balance in your lives by being aware of the warning signs that you may be running on empty. Poker: Don't bluff just for the sake of bluffing.If either of you has been dishonest or unfaithful, realize that although your marriage can be saved, it will take time to rebuild trust between the two of you. Pool/Billiards: Visualize where you want your ball to go.Don't just dream or think about a caring, respectful, loving marriage. Tell your spouse about the importance of mutuality to you. Powerboating: Know your boat.Know your spouse by using these conversation starters. Rodeo: Rodeo has lasting traditions from its roots -- continued growth -- ability to change while remaining true to the spirit of rodeo.Personal rituals and traditions can help you reaffirm your love for each other and keep you connected. Running & Jogging: When you hit a plateau or find yourselves in a rut, don't give up.Getting out of a rut in your marriage can be difficult. Remember it took time to get in the rut and it will take time to get out of it. Sailing: Let the sails breathe.You can reduce stress in your lives by making time to breathe together. Saltwater Fishing: Enjoy the experience of just being there.No matter how busy the two of you are, make time for one another. Skateboarding: Conquer your fears. Take time. Practice. Commit.If you want to overcome jealousy in your marriage, you need to face your fears about losing your spouse, admit your jealous behavior, set ground rules together, and be willing to seek professional help. Skiing: Don't always try to go around the bumps.As a married couple, you are bound to hit some bumps in the road. Talk about the issues. Don't bicker about them. Snowboarding: Be prepared.Be prepared to accept that your happiness must come from within yourself. Soccer: Many folks play soccer because it is a simple game to understand, it improves your physical fitness, and it is fun.Part of creating a successful marriage is scheduling date nights, laughing together, relaxing together, and having fun together. Surfing: Pick a wave that is not broken.Sometimes love isn't enough. Know the answers to these deal-breaker questions before you get married. Swimming: Once you know water, it can be a fun place to be.Make time before you get married to discuss these important issues. Table Tennis/Ping-Pong: Get a grip.Face it. nagging doesn't work. Tennis: When playing doubles, pick the right partner.This applies to your marriage, too. Pick the right spouse. Track & Field: Gliding over hurdles without breaking stride is a basic skill for runners.A basic skill to help you get over hurdles in your marriage is communication. Volleyball: Practice makes perfect.The more often you share what is in your heart and your feelings with one another, the stronger your marriage will be. Walking: Pay attention to warning signs.Your marriage is probably in trouble if you think it is in trouble. Know the warning signs of a troubled marriage. Waterskiing: Don't overdo it. Be yourself.Kristin Armstrong's advice to brides is to not "leave their true selves behind at the altar." Weight Training: Know and understand your body clocks.If one of you is an early bird and the other is a night owl, your sleep preference differences could hurt your marriage. One suggestion is to make the most of your "overlapping" hours together. Wrestling: Know what's real and what's fake.If you think your spouse is lying to you, ask questions and for clarification. You could misread your spouse's behaviors. Yoga: If you decide to improve your physical fitness through strength, flexibility, and muscle control and concentrate on the present moment, your sex life may improve.