In sports, one of the marquee events of the summer is a youth baseball tournament in the middle of Pennsylvania. As we approach the end of July, the countdown to the global event is on. What life lessons can be learned from the Little League World Series? Why is the tournament so popular?

The LLWS is an event that brings together teams from across the U.S. and around the globe in a serious – but fun – competition. For kids watching at home, seeing their peers compete in the spotlight can serve as inspiration. For adults, the fun of the tournament allows them to harken back to their youth – if just for a fleeting moment.

The annual youth baseball event has become a summer tradition for many, regardless of age or sports background. Unlike other summer events like Wimbledon or the Tour de France, the LLWS captures the attention of sports and non-sports fans alike.

What makes the LLWS special?

Diversity in teams and locations.

It’s great to see teams from around the U.S. competing, especially when you have a local connection for rooting interests. Add in teams from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe and it makes for a truly global competition.

The atmosphere is family friendly.

From quirky player introductions and interviews to sledding down the hill at Lamade Stadium, there are plenty of fun takeaways for those who attend in person and those who watch on television. At the end of the day, it’s one of the few large-scale sporting events that is truly an event for everyone in the family.

Big stage, big moments, big personalities.

It may be a youth event, but the players are provided a tremendous platform and level of coverage that no other youth sporting event sees – thanks, ESPN! The best part – it might be a big stage, but player personalities are able to shine through.

What life lessons can be learned?

Winning isn’t everything.

Would every team like to be crowned LLWS champion? Of course, but only one team can take home that honor. For every single player who makes it to Williamsport, the experience is about the lasting memory of a few weeks spent with teammates at the mecca of youth baseball competing against players from around the globe.

Dream big.

Less than one percent of players who make it to the LLWS will go on to play baseball professionally like Gary Sheffield or Cody Bellinger. That shouldn’t stop every player from dreaming big, however.

Be yourself.

Be proud of who you are on and off the baseball diamond. Not all players come in the same size or shape… or even gender. It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since Mo’ne Davis led her Little League team to Williamsport. The important takeaway: don’t be afraid of being anything other than yourself.

Most importantly, have fun.