I need sports. I feel like I may be getting repetitive in my writing…but my goodness, I need them. Whether I am playing them, coaching them or watching them…I need them. This weekend a state championship game I played in during high school was replayed via the NFHS. It was on youtube and I have to say the quality of it made me a little dizzy, because it wasn’t good. But it brought back all the memories.
It was strange to watch my young self, something I have never done, but it was also awesome. There were things I remembered so vividly about that match and others that watching now, with a coaches eye, were so different than I remembered. Also, the rules were so different. There was no rally scoring so you could only win a point when you were serving. We only played to 15 and if you served a ball and it skimmed the net, it was an error.
The one thing that stuck out to me so much in this match was the energy. Everyone, on both teams played with so much energy. The discipline in skills like blocking were so sharp. The talk was intense and everyone regardless of their role in the match was upbeat and active.
I feel like now, in sports, so much of that type of behavior has to be taught and I think that is large part because our kids play way too many games because kids specialize so early (more on this at a later time). So when a player comes along that is not a spectator on the court, is always active, he or she is special and that’s really something. Celebrate the heck out of that! Also, you don’t have to be the biggest or strongest, jump the highest or score the most points…but if you are active and disciplined, a student of the game and a good teammate…coaches will always find a place for you. That…is what is so beautiful about sports.
As I watched this game I wanted to put on a uniform and go play immediately. Also, I couldn’t sleep. What’s so hard for young people to understand is that their opportunities to compete are limited. One day you are just done and you can still play but when it isn’t for something bigger than you it isn’t the same or as meaningful.
I still get to be in a gym and play the sport I love almost every day. I train young athletes and get to pepper and set them as they learn to be better and more effective hitters. I got to be in the gym tonight and it was just what I needed. I’m so grateful.
This weekend I got to watch my boys and my nephew play a sport they love. I got to see them laugh, smile, sweat, work hard, make plays, make mistakes and learn from all of it. I got to watch their siblings cheer them on and Fletcher run around the gym like a crazy man. I also got to watch him play his first ever basketball game. It was beautiful.
So I will continue to cherish every opportunity to play, coach and watch sports because I need them and so do our kids.