There are many memories that people have from their high school days. Some are very pleasant memories such as that time you went to the prom with that hot babe. Or it might be a group of friends that you hung out with or perhaps some teacher/teachers. Most of these memories pale in comparison to the memories I have had of participating in high school sports. Those are memories that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It is impossible for me to go to a high school event nowadays and not relive the past in some form or another. Those memories really come up during this time of the year when I watch many of the state tournaments. There is just something special about playing sports in high school. I went on and played sports in college and it was nothing like my high school experiences.
I don’t think my memories of playing high school sports necessarily centered around the competition. There were so many games and events that I took part in. I do recall some of the low and high points, but the competition really took a back seat to the comradery I had with my teammates and the many friendships I developed while being an athlete. We went on many long bus rides to away games and it gave us a chance to bond as a team. I can vividly recall arriving at an opponents gym for a game and having the feeling that the whole town was out to get us. It was us against the town. It was a great feeling to come out victorious. I knew my teammates had my back when I stepped on the court. We seemed to have that sense of togetherness when we played and that is something I will forget.
I grew up in a small town and the notoriety I got from being part of the high school team was really cool too. On a couple of occasions, I got my picture in the local paper. My name also frequently appeared in the paper. Sometimes people I didn’t even know came up and talked to me about the team. I felt like a professional athlete. I know that is a rather shallow approach to life, but as a 17-year-old, it was a big thing to have that attention.
I know there are many young high school students who are currently thinking about quitting their sport because it is not fun or maybe they have a chance to work at part-time job. I know playing sports can be a real grind but try to set some goals for yourself. Even if you are the last person off the bench, try to better yourself and the sport will become more enjoyable. You have the rest of your life to work. Being part of a high school team or playing a sport is a memory that you will always have. Is your memory from high school going to consist of quitting some sport to work at some boring part-time after school job? Live a little!
I firmly believe to this day that playing high school sports taught me more lessons about life than any class I took in high school. Not even close. It taught me how to work together as a team in reaching a goal, it also taught me discipline and how to face pressure and adversity. I learned so many valuable lessons that I apply to my own career right now. I occasionally run into contact with some of my former teammates around town or on Facebook. We have some much fun discussing those old high school sports days. I took playing high school sports so much for granted when I was in high school. Sometimes I wish I could go back and relive those glory days. Never would I imagine that high school sports have such a lasting lifetime memory in a person.