Most people, if not all, have had an experience with a high school sport. Whether you were the player, sibling, or just a fan, high school sports can be a huge deal. I know looking back, some of my favorite memories from high school happened while playing a sport. Now that I'm in college I realize just how great of an experience I had while playing, and at times I wish I could go back for one last game. Being back home for break I got to see all my friends and old teammates, and we all agreed that we miss playing, so here are 15 things we all miss about playing our high school sports.
1. We were always in great shape!
Running down and backs for every missed free-throw does two things... It gets you in amazing shape, and it makes you make your free-throws. We were always in the gym, constantly moving. One coach I had growing up said that if you're standing still for more than 3 seconds, you're not working hard enough. My team really took that to heart and we worked our butts off.
2. We found a second family
I loved my team so much, during the season I spent more time with them than my own family. When you're in season, your team becomes your family, you take care of each other just like a family would. Someone always has food to share, someone always had extra clothes they'd be willing to let you borrow, it was a family and I loved my family.
3. It was a great stress reliever
Things can sometimes get crazy when people play sports, but thats what officials are there to do, keep everyone in check. Our coach always told us to take whatever stresses we had, and either forget them, or leave them all on the floor.
4. Locker room dance parties
"High School Musical" was always our go-to. We all knew the songs by heart and would blast them as loud as we could. We knew the dance moves to every song and would dance around the locker room pre-game. So many amazing memories.
5. New season, new shoes
With each new basketball season, came a new pair of basketball shoes. Our team got very creative with colors too. Since all of our uniforms had to look the same, we all made it our mission to make our shoes as unique as possible.
6. Dress-up days
I hated waking up early and getting all fancy, but looking back it was actually a lot of fun. Our coaches heavily believed that if you look your best, you feel your best, and when you feel your best, you'd play your best. Therefor, gameday was always dress-up day.
Having someone hold up a poster for you is one of the best feelings ever. Someone went out of their way to create something to support you and your team. Some were simple with just the school name, or some were for specific players, but on others... The trash talk was real.
8. Seeing your name in the paper.
I remember playing basketball, and after the game, our local paper would print the results in the Sunday paper. My grandpa would cut out each little section of the paper that mentioned our school and would give it to me. I still have a envelope full of them.
9. The competition
The thrill of competition, especially against a rival team, is crazy. Scoring that first point, putting your team in the lead, or making a great play, all of that is what players live for. The thrill of competition is just so thrilling.
10. Team dinners
Team dinners were a huge deal. After practice the night before game day, parents would volunteer to make the team dinner. It always tasted amazing, and everyone always had a great time. We'd polish off 3 gallons of chocolate milk and like 5 or 6 pizzas with no problem. It was always great to be a part of.
11. The feeling after a win
There is nothing better for a high school athlete than the feeling of a major win over a big opponent. It's such a rush and just an incredible feeling, there is no other way to describe it. It's just amazing. The photo above is my high school's volleyball team seconds after the game winning point sending them to state, pure joy on everyone's face.
12. Coaching kid's camps
One of my favorite parts of being a varsity player was getting to help coach the little kid camps that our school would put on. Mainly because I remember doing camps like that when I was a kid, and I remember looking up to the players helping and wanting to be just like them. It's a great feeling helping kids learn to love a sport that you love so much.
13. Coming to school after a huge win
I went to a fairly small high school, so coming to school the morning after a big win was great. During lunch, they'd have the players stand up, and everyone would cheer, and you'd get the 'great jobs' from everyone while walking through the halls to class. It was just great.
14. The player-coach relationship
I've had a lot of coaches in a lot of different sports over the years, and each of them taught me something different. Each of them helped make me who I am today, and I am thankful for that. A team wouldn't really be a team if they didn't have a coach. I love all my coaches, I might not have loved them when they made us run lines... but looking back, I wouldn't be who I am today without them.
15. Life-long friends
I have made some life-long friends through playing sports, and I can honestly say that if I hadn't played, I wouldn't be friends with them. Playing sports changed my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.
To anyone still in high school, I will tell you to cherish the time you have left with your team. You're making memories that will last a lifetime. And to college kids, think fondly of your sport, and find a way to get involved in it again. Coach little kids, go back on break and help out your high school team, just get back in the game.