Been giving thought to this particular post for a few days now. Dont want to sound opinionated, biased, or in that realm….. but I do want to write…….. or say something to the “left out athlete”. I am writing this to one particular athlete but this could be used by anybody.
Your a senior, your time as an athlete…… a high school athlete, is rapidly coming to a close. Is it the end of the road for you? What do you do next? Do you go to college? Do you want to go to college? Do you take a chance and walk on a team? Have you been offered any scholarships? Any looks? Have you put yourself in the best predicument to succeed at the next level? I am sure you are thinking about these things….. if you havent, you should…. or you better. You may not be thinking about things like the economy, and a life time job, but if you havent you should. Because pending the next decision you make, could have great impact on the rest of your life.
If any of you were like me, it took a LONG TIME to get athletics out of my system. I loved track and field more than anything, largely because it was on me. Didnt have to depend on the coach, or other teammates to do what I needed to do to succeed. Most of the athletes I work with now are not track athletes but Football, Basketball, and Baseball athletes.. Your future is in the hands of a coach who dictates who plays, who doesnt, who more or less gets the “lime light” and who doesnt. Yes, it can be frustrating because you may not get an opportunity to showcase talents you may or may not possess. You can talk to the coach, your parents can talk to the coach, etc….. but we fail to remember that people will be people…. we put a lot of faith in people, and people will let us down, and we all make mistakes….. I even see this in levels as young as little league football. Everybody wants their son to be the star…… And let us not forget the politics of sports and people………….. The key is….. every now and then, we get opportunity. Maybe a pass play, a running play, a catch, a steal….. but some type of opportunity to do what we must. Opportunities dont come often, but they do come. And you never know who may be looking….. Maybe a coach reviewing someone else……… Make the best of that opportunity… any opportunitiy you may receive. It could be pay big dividends for years to come. But dont become so frustrated, angry, unfocused that you lose sight of why you play the game and your long term goals.
For the athlete that is frustrated……. I say remain Patient and Focused…… Patient in the fact that, this may not be your time….. but your time is coming….. if you remain patient. I firmly believe that everyone in their lifetime has a “peak” time and we hit it at different times of our lives. Whether its sports, jobs, marriage, kids, etc…… Maybe you havent reached your peak in sports…… Patience will tell what you need to know. Next……. Focused in that this may not be your time…. in high school…. College may be your time…… You may have to walk on, take partial scholarship, go to a juco first, ….. but you have to work towards that…. Keep your focus on that. You may not get there the same way another athlete has but you can get there.
I read an article in the paper the other day about a good athlete from North Central, didnt get a lot of looks, but walked on a team…..Northern Illinois. Because of patience, diligence, focus, he is now a really successful athlete.
My mother use to say…..”Dont let others (whether it is a coach, boss, friends, etc…) dictate your path.” When I was younger, I didnt understand the true meaning behind that……. now I do.