Eight Things I Learned From Sitting The Bench

Eight Things I Learned From Sitting The Bench

Because nobody talks about sitting out of the game.
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Let's face it: as an athlete, the bench is the last place you want to end up on game day. You have that burning desire to just be on the field where the action happens, but the odds are you will at one point or another be on the bench. As someone who knows what it feels like to be in that position, here are the top eight things that I have learned while sitting on the bench:

1. You have to work a lot harder than the player that's starting.

The truth of it is that the starter is out there for a reason and if you want to be out there, then you have to prove that you want to be there. Sometimes that means taking a few extra reps after practice, or asking coach to work with you to get it right. Putting in the extra time will only help you.

2. You learn how to be mentally tough.

There may be a time when all of the subs get put in except you, there may be a time during practice that you can’t do anything right, there may be a time where you don’t feel 100 percent. You will hate yourself for making that error three games ago, and you will ask yourself is it even worth it anymore. Whether you know it or not, every hurdle you overcome in that state of mind is mentally building yourself up and in the end, you know that it is worth the blood, sweat and tears because you love the game.

3. You learn how to be the best support system for your team.

On game day, you will be the biggest fan section as well as the loudest. You will cheer them on when they are winning as well as pick them up when they are losing. It is your job to make sure your team is up at all times and in the game.

4. You learn how not to act.

Being on the sidelines you get to observe how everyone playing reacts to different situations. You see the girl who has an attitude that struck out and is now throwing various objects around. You know how bad that looks. Don’t be that athlete.

5. You learn how to be patient.

I know they say that patience is a virtue, but in the game, it is a major key. Now I know what you’re thinking. Slow down, DJ Khaled. What do you mean, “be patient?" What I mean is that you can't hope and pray that girl playing your position makes an error just so you can make a snarky comment about how you can do better than that. You will play eventually, I promise you, but not with those comments.

6. You will get your opportunity to play and you will have nothing to lose.

This is it. This is your shot to play, and when you go in, it will be glorious, because in that moment, you get a chance to prove that you can do it. All the practices you actively participated in and all the time you spent watching and learning from the other girls who are getting the playing time finally paid off. Just know that you have nothing to lose if you mess up, so play with no regrets.

7. You learn to enjoy the time you’re there.

You only have a couple of years left to play this sport that you love and when you’re older, you are not going to remember the games you did or didn’t play. You are going to remember the times where you made a team effort to reach and achieve a goal, like that time you beat your rivals in the last inning, or the time you won the conference tournament for the first time ever. Celebrate team successes and don’t dwell on the times you didn’t play, because you may regret it later.

8. You are still a vital member of the team.

I know it may not seem like it in the moment, but your role on the team is still extremely important. Bench players, on top of the cheering and support, are constantly running around doing a lot of behind the scenes work. You are just as important to the team as the girl out there playing, just in a different way.

So if you’re on the bench now, know that no, the world is not going to end because you aren’t in the game but, this is your opportunity to play a different role on your team. Hang in there because you will get your shot, but for now go forth and play your role.

Cover Image Credit: Brianna Peralta

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.

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I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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