Even though I don’t coach high school football anymore, I always get a little excited for the upcoming football season around this time of the summer. It’s a sport I’ve always enjoyed as a player, fan, and especially as a coach.
This is also the time of the summer where I started hearing about the local kids who say they’re not going to play in the fall. On the one hand, it makes me sad. On the other hand, I understand. Time commitment, work, school, and/or issues with the coaching staff are all reasons I’ve heard from kids in the past. I do understand these reasons.
My advice to these kids who are contemplating not playing a sport they’ve played in the past is pretty simple:
If you love playing the sport, play it.
Don’t worry about the details.
Don’t worry about anything.
If you love it, do it.
Compete and enjoy the process.
Don’t let others, including the adults, bring you down.
Play for the joy of playing. Find that joy you once experienced and find a way to live within that joy. Use it to fuel your performance. Use it to put on the blinders and play with the spirit of the game despite whatever crap swirls around you.
To all you young athletes on the fence about participating in a sport, this advice is for you. Like I’ve said many times, there’s no “I” in team, but there’s sure as hell is a “ME”. Take care of your business, do your job, and don’t worry about the things you can’t control.
See? It’s pretty simple.
If you love playing a game, play it.
Play the game you love until somebody tells you that you can’t play anymore.
Good luck! Whatever your decision is, do it with confidence, do it with thought, and, most of all, do it with no regrets.