To The Class Of 2019, College Is Upon You

To The Class Of 2019, College Is Upon You

With one semester of high school left, time is passing by quickly.

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Class of 2019,

Ready or not, graduation is near. May will be here before you know it. You have one semester of high school left. Let that sink in for a minute. Life as you know it is about to change forever. Will it change for the good or the bad? That choice is yours!

You are beginning to face many decisions that will affect your life forever, and that can be scary. Don't let the stress of choosing a college and career ruin your last semester of high school. Go have fun, and make those memories. The simple things you took for granted for the past three years of high school will be gone before you know it. Go to that last sporting event, go to that last choir/band concert, go to that last high school dance, go to any and every event possible! Go support your friends at their high school events because pretty soon, those friends may be gone far away from you.

While you're making those memories, strive to be the best possible person you can be. Don't go through your last semester of high school just doing enough to get by; instead, work your hardest. Show your teachers that you truly care. Thank your teachers for instilling their lives into yours. While it may seem those teachers were trying to make your life more difficult, it was simply the start of a bigger life lesson you need to know.

While this chapter of your life is ending, a new chapter is about to begin. You will learn that those people who you thought were your friends in high school are really not. Things change, people change, and most of all, LIFE CHANGES. Don't let anything ruin this season of your life. Live in the moment because one day, you will look back, and all you will have is memories.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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An Open Letter To The Senior Athlete Starting Her Last Spring Sports Season

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

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It's never easy to say goodbye, and one of the hardest things to let go of after high school was varsity sports, and for me the sport I loved most was lacrosse. I played when my school was first introducing lacrosse to the district, from seventh grade until my final senior season. It was some of the best times I ever had in high school, and I had so many amazing teammates to share it with. But this letter isn't for me. This goes out to any high school senior with a similar story, about to enter your last season in those uniforms, with those teammates, playing the sport you love. Make sure you don't forget to look around and cherish it.

As a senior, you might be ready to move on to college and leave high school behind, but once it's over I guarantee you'll miss at least some of it. Make sure you don't get too caught up in winning and championships and simply enjoy the time you have with your team. I look back on those long bus rides to away games when the whole team would laugh and talk and my coach would call us out for not being focused. Those times with my teammates were unbeatable, and I'd give anything to feel that type of bond with my team again. We suffered many losses, but we supported each other through it all and always came out with smiles on our faces. In your last sports season, the best thing to do is cherish these bonds and make sure you never take them for granted.

For any senior who knows they won't be going on to play division or club sports in college, this could be the last time you have that type of close team relationship. Not to mention the last feelings of excitement on game day, the satisfaction of seeing familiar faces in the crowd at your home turf, and the accomplishment of getting through a hard day's practice with some of your best friends. Hold onto each and every one of those feelings.

It definitely gets hard at times with everything you have going on your senior year, from getting ready for school or a job after graduation to making memories with your friends. Let's not forget all the homework and final projects coming up at the end of the school year. When you look back on high school you'll want to be sure that you put all you could into your last sports season, and gotten everything you could out of it.

On those off days when the last thing you want to do is practice or play through a game, remind yourself of how important this sport and your team is to you, push through it, and take every positive away from it that you can. It won't be long until you're playing your last game and saying goodbye to the team and the sport you love so much. Thank your coaches for all they do, hug your teammates after every game and play as hard as you possibly can. If you don't, you'll wish you had.

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