You do not know how much you will miss the family, support, and love that come from being on a team. My first year of college has taught me so much, however, I know that the team atmosphere that my coaches have created allowed for me to be one step above everyone else. I learned so much from the short four years that I was on a team. Here is a list of things I want you to live by:
Drama is NOT worth the time: Every single person on your team matter. Do not leave people out, do not create cliques and DO NOT hurt your best friends on your team. The seniors and I from last year still text each other in our group message every single day. We miss each other so much and I know each and every one of us regret ever causing drama among us at some point in time. At the end of the day none of it matters, leave it behind and spend the quality time together that all of us wish we could still do.
Listen to Coach: I know it sucks admitting this to yourself, but your coach is (usually) ALWAYS right. They have been through so much, so whether they are coaching you on your stance or coaching you through a problem not even related to your sport, listen. I regret ever thinking that what I thought was more important than what coach thought. They have a plan; they wouldn’t keep coming back every year if he did not want to see your team succeed. Again, cut the attitude and listen to your Coach. Most of the time they truly know what they are talking about.
Take Practice seriously: I remember those hot days standing by the tee waiting for coach to stop looking so I could stop swinging for a second. Let me tell you, I REGRET IT. I wish I would’ve listened to my coaches and took every swing and every serve seriously. The satisfaction of having an amazing swing or serve is something I wish I could’ve sooner (or if at all) accomplished while in high school. You will never ever have the time again to just go for two hours and play the sport you love. Please please please do not take it for granted.
Do not sweat the small stuff: yeah your coach may be pissed at you on the bus ride home but please do not let that define your character. Buck up, and show up to practice with a good attitude. Work your butt off and prove to your coach that he does not have a reason to be mad anymore. I regret coming home at night after a bad game and dreading practice the next day, I wish I would’ve been madder at myself and allow it to make myself better instead of being mad at my coach for being mad at us.
Appreciate your parents: After a game when your parents are annoying you, telling you how much they love you, please appreciate it. I miss my parents every single day at school and I would do anything to be able to go back to a warm spring night and listen to them brag about how proud of me they are. Thank them for organizing your food for tournaments, thank them for coming to your games. They do not have to do it, but they do it for you!
Take advantage of off season workouts: when you get to college there is no one pushing you to work out. I only wish I could have had a coach setting up different work out regimens for me at school. It’s unbelievable how much those workouts and open gyms help you. I regret not appreciating them enough. Now that I am super out of shape even though I am working out it makes me realize that every single rep or lap helped make me a better athlete. Please attend as many as you can, you are only bettering yourself!
Every year is a new year: It does not matter if you were starting captain of the JV team last year. Every year is a new year. EVERY single year you need to push yourself to be an even better athlete than the year before. Show up to every practice, every open gym and every day of tryouts with the best attitude possible. Work as hard as you have possibly worked. Prove to the coaches that you are the best version of yourself that you can be. Trust me, hard work does eventually pay off, even if it does not feel like it all the time. Let the hard work you put into your athletics rub off on your other activities, whether that be your grades, clubs or home life. Everything you do needs to be 110 percent. Do not have any regrets when you walk across the stage your graduating year.
Appreciate the underclassmen: They are the next you! Raise them like you would’ve wanted to be raised. Let the freshman or sophomores know you are there for them, and remind them that they are worthy of being on the team. We get to influence the incoming athletes; we get to practice with them and teach them things that players before, taught you. It is important to play that role both on the field and off the field. Do not influence them to party or do negative things. Be a positive role model.
Do not ruin what you have for a party: This one is so important. Your reputation is so very crucial in the athletic world, however also the adult world. I promise you, that party is not worth it. I promise you, you can say no! Just be smart, you are a role model, and a representation of the Fowlerville Softball team.
In the end, I miss softball, volleyball and high school immensely. I do have to say though I have few regrets when it comes to my softball and volleyball careers. If you listen to my advice listed above I believe you will have few regrets as well. The athletic programs you have been so blessed to be a part of is one of a kind. Take advantage of all the opportunities these programs and school have to offer you. Make your future seasons the best ones yet. Even if that season isn’t a winning one, you will still gain more than you lost from it. Being a part of a team is something you will remember forever. Do not allow for yourself to let it slip away. Good luck this season!
Riley McGuire #22