When you're athletic to some extent, it comes naturally to you.. to some extent. When you're playing a sport and you're athletic all you have to do is get yourself in the right mindset and leave everything out there. When you're an athlete, a real athlete, you have a special sense of drive. You have a desire to be the best, do the best. If you're not there yet? Its time you work a little harder. It's time you work a little longer, a little faster, a little later into the night, a little earlier in the morning. When you're an athlete, you believe in yourself enough to know that working hard will play off because there is nothing else you can do.
Being an athlete has taught me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to if I'm willing to work harder than every other person. That if I tell myself that I'm going to do something and I don't, I have to do it for twice as long or work twice as hard. That there is a punishment for laziness, that there is backlash for not working as hard as the person next to you. There is a passion in athletes that tells them that if they don't work hard now, they will have nothing to work hard for later. They feed off of success, and the more they taste victory the more they crave it.
When your parents sign you up for t-ball they don't expect you to become a professional baseball player, but they sign you up thinking you'll meet some friends and maybe find something you enjoy doing. Little do they know that probably six out of all those kids on the field will end up playing in high school, because something in them said that this is where they wanted to be, and this is the place that will shape them as people. This is the place where they felt at home with people they viewed as family.
One day, we walk off that field and into the real world. We think that all that handwork we put into becoming the best athlete possible went to waste. All those hours and sprained ankles, the money your parents spent was all for nothing. But that's not true. If you take away anything from your safe haven of your field, track or court, ect. it's that you will meet people that are better than you. So you must let that inspire you, let that be the push to get you working harder than you ever thought you would. Athletes find their drive when they choose to be the best. That drive will carry you through places you have never imaged.
But I'd have to say the best part about being an athlete is the family you gain. Some of the kids you meet will make you glad that your only interaction with them is at sports. Others make you wonder how you made it this far in life without them. Your teammates will teach you not only to be a better player but to be a better person. They will be there for you when you've never felt more alone. They will support you and love you through all the madness like may bring. You will never laugh harder or feel more loved than when you're with these people.
So when someone looks at you and thinks you're just some jock that throws stuff in the air against another team wearing tight pants and matching shirts. Remember that they have no idea what they're talking about. That just because it seems stupid to other people, does not mean that it can't be something that means the world to you. Believe that. Never let anyone belittle your dreams or who you are. Keep motivated and moving forward, all that yelling you hear? It doesn't matter if they're taunting you or cheering you on.. it's all just noise.