by Michelle Brooks | staff writer
Dear high school athletes who feel like quitting,
No matter which sport you play at this school, all athletes can agree on this— we don’t take L’s. Even when we do lose, we don’t lose.We learn from our mistakes.
One of the main reasons we’re so successful is because we have a bunch of talented and dedicated players. On almost any of our sports teams, you can find at least one player who plays in a club or AAU organization. This makes trying to get a spot on the court or the field very competitive.
Depending on the level of the team, competing for playing time is more or less challenging. For example, it is easier to get playing time on freshman teams than it is on varsity teams. It also depends on the grade you start playing for the varsity team.
For example, I started on junior varsity for the girls’ basketball team my freshman year. My sophomore year, I got moved up to varsity, but I only played a limited number of minutes. Over that summer, I improved greatly and even began starting my junior year. You just have to trust the process.
That’s the cycle for almost every athlete. We all start from the bottom and have to work our way up by practicing harder to be the best one on the team. You spend countless hours getting better every year and every year your hunger grows to help your team get to the ultimate goal— state.
But sometimes, you get tired of sitting on the bench for more than you think is necessary. My sophomore year and part of my junior year, I felt as if I had every right to be on the court as much as the starting shooting guard. I felt because I had gotten a lot better since freshman year, I deserved more playing time. You start questioning your ability and feel as if all the work you’ve done in the offseason has gone to waste. And because you’re at one of the most vulnerable moments, you decide that you should stop wasting your time and quit playing the sport.
That’s exactly what happened after this past basketball season. I quit playing basketball because I felt as if I was unappreciated and just a waste of space on the bench. I had already started planning different things I could do without basketball since it took up most of my time.
But for any athlete contemplating whether to quit, especially after you’ve been in a sports program for a while, that is not the right way to go. You’ve gone this far and now you want to give it up and skip out on the last one or two years because you can’t stand sitting on the bench? NO, you just have to work the hardest you’ve ever worked to make the coach see that they need you. You work as hard as you can to be as close to LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Serena Williams, or Babe Ruth as you can. There will be no other reason the coach has to not play you. Set your goals a little higher than you should because if you fall short, you still land in a good place.
It also depends on the circumstances of why you’re quitting. If you truly believe that the best option is for you to quit, then quit. But just remember that you only go through high school once and you can’t go back and erase time.