Sunday , 23 November 2014
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High school sports are all about the journey

Often high school athletes and their parents become frustrated worrying about things over which they have little or no control.

High school athletes strive for a spot on the swim team, to maintain a .400 batting average, to make the All County team, land a college scholarship or move on to the Big Leagues. Those accomplishments, though, are a product of the process and not a given reward, for athletics are all about the journey and not about the destination.

A young man or woman should participate in athletics to learn the lessons of life — individual striving for excellence, discipline, developing a strong work ethic, dealing with failure and the necessity for resilience.

The reason an athlete works so hard today is to insure having the maximum amount of success and enjoyment possible in life tomorrow. In athletics, the next game is the only thing that is a given and the idea that there is a big payoff down the road is beyond the young athlete’s control.

Hard work in a home training program is empowering. When an athlete steps into the batter’s box in a game or takes the start platform at a swim meet, he or she is empowered with the knowledge that he or she has earned the right to have success. They have a mental edge and know that they worked to achieve the success and enjoyment they will experience today.

The reason an athlete works so hard today is to insure having the maximum amount of success and enjoyment possible in life tomorrow.

As time goes by, a young athlete may find the high school team is overloaded with talent and the coach may not think the player or swimmer is good enough to compete for a position. And college scouts may say no and deny the athlete a scholarship. But the young athlete has no control over those opinions, for today they are on a team and tomorrow they have another game. They may get the opportunity to play and they must work hard to be ready for success tomorrow, if given the opportunity.

But it is important to remember that athletics are all about the journey and not about the destination. Athletes may or may not play to all their dreams, but when it’s all over, they will be the ones who have learned to work and be the best that they can be. And those memories of the journey, shared with family, will last a lifetime.

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