As the last season of your high-school athletic career comes to an end, consider a few of these:
1. Play every single game to the best of your ability.
You may have heard your coach say, “Play every game like it’s your last,” but this season you will face your last game and know why she always said that. Before you know it, you’ll look up at the game clock and watch the sport you fell in love with slowly dwindle from you, and it will sink in that all of the blood, sweat and tears you shed will cease to exist.
2. Look at every teammate surrounding you and thank them for turning into your family.
A few years ago your teammates were strangers, but now you can’t live without them. You’ve experienced everything that goes along with this sport with them, and you’ve had the opportunity to share some of the most exhilarating moments with them, too. From running countless amounts of timed miles and sprints, to winning a conference game in double overtime, they were right next to you through it all. They were the ones who didn’t let you give up, and motivated you to be the best possible player you could be. So, look them in the eyes and thank them for never giving up on you.
3. Cherish every single second you get to spend in your uniform.
Before you know it, you will have to look at the jersey you’ve worn for the past four years and hand it in for someone else to wear next season. You’ve won in that jersey, and you’ve lost in that jersey. You’ve had your best game, and you’ve had your worst game. But I promise you, that number will be engraved in your mind, and will hold a special place in your heart for the rest of your life. So, wear that jersey with pride every chance you get.
4. Realize the love you have for the game.
Despite the love/hate relationship you may have felt while playing this sport, you chose to be an athlete. You may have loathed sprinting at the end of practice, or having to wake up early on Saturday mornings, but soon, it will all be gone and you’ll do anything to be a freshman trying out again. You may not realize it now, but this sport shaped you into the person you are, and despite the heartbreaking ending you will face, the memories you have will live within you forever.