Reflections of a Student Athlete, By Tyler Russell (Part 2 of 2)

3:27 PM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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Football is unlike any other sport in that success is contingent on the cohesion of 11 men as a unit, and 40 men as a team. Success is garnered through hard individual work that is emulated by all in order to make such work the rule, rather than the exception. It's about putting everything you have on the line because you know that your teammate will do the same for you. Great success leads to champions and champions are forged by adversity. Adversity is overcome by teamwork, and the cycle is complete. What you will learn if you haven't already is that not one player comprises a team, sports and football do not work that way. It takes a combine effort of everyone doing their job on and off the field to win on game day. High School Sports are some of the best and most rewarding times of your life, and if you don't know it now, believe me when I say you will. You'll look back when you finish college or wherever else your life may lead you and you'll wish you had cherished your time as a member of a team. There is something very special and humbling about being part of something larger than yourself, but at the same time, knowing that your actions and attitude directly reflect the whole. There is a special feeling walking down the halls at school wearing your jersey and feeling pride for your school because of how you carry yourself in the classroom, on the field, and most importantly, off of it. There is something to be said about the importance of pride and confidence in oneself, knowing that you belong to something as unique as a High School Football team. And after your time in athletics is up, there is something special in the memory that you and your teammates worked together to achieve.

As much as being a champion or winning that Sectional Title game is important, there is something far more measurable that you should take away from your time in high school sports. I played both football and lacrosse and never was a Sectional Champion. Perhaps I wasn't blessed with such athleticism, nor were the majority of my teammates, but we did what we could to compete, and in that process we bonded as not only teammates, but as friends. When people talk about the reasoning and principle behind sports, especially at the high school level, they tend to forget one of the most important aspects that it brings: growth. Now this is not growth in the sense of larger or taller, but in the growth of individual selves and relationships as a whole. Football at this level has a very unique way to opening up many foors and allowing for personal change. Besides competing and winning games, you have the opportunity to neet life-long friends, learn everlasting lessons regarding commitment, camaraderie, and character, and develop memories that you can cherish in the future. There is a transformation that will take place in high school, and if you allow for it, sports can be a driving factor of good. Take note of it, and then take charge, because eveything you do is contingent on your openness to it.

- Tyler Russell

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