Bittersweet Times for Student Athletes
This is a bittersweet time for many student-athletes as their high school time comes to an end. For many it also marks the end to their playing days as they have stepped off a field or court for the last time representing a team or school.
Take for example a baseball player who started in Little League at the age of 5 in the tee ball division. He worked his way up to the minors and then majors and was good enough to also play on a travel team which kept him busy on a year-long basis. Eventually it was on to middle school and then high school baseball where each spring he would put on that uniform with the name of his school splashed across his chest.
Not only did he play 25 games or so with his school team but there was summer and fall leagues, indoor practices, weekend tournaments, etc. Then all of a sudden it’s May of your senior season and you're heading to college in just a few months where baseball will no longer be a part of your life.
During tournament time you realize that each practice and game could be your last and the finality of it all is sometimes too much to accept as all of a sudden there is no next practice or next game. All you have left is a day to turn in your uniform.
This scenario takes place in every sport from football to softball and it hits me especially at this time of year because for seniors there is no other season and if they are not playing sports in college it is truly the end of what was a big part of their lives for years. Sure some will play club sports and intramurals and later might participate in a men’s or women’s league but it’s simply not the same.
Times clearly have changed from my high school days but what has not is the memories you make and take from athletics. Those that are getting ready to graduate don’t quite understand that some of the moments they have shared with teammates and coaches over the past few years will remain with them for life.
Whether it was a championship game victory or something stupid that took place in practice it has left an indelible impression that will not soon be forgotten. Many years from now at reunions or get togethers you will be able to recount details of your high school days even if you can’t remember where you left your car keys minutes earlier.