In many parts of the country, school has started. And for many of you – this means that your senior year is on the way. This also means that at some point in the next 365 days, you will step on your school field for a very last time as a player, wearing a school jersey. To you the player, and certainly to the ones that love you, it seems like it was just yesterday when you first made your school team….
And this brings us to share our first piece of advice.
- Time doesn’t wait for anyone! It won’t wait for you, it won’t wait for your friends, it didn’t wait for your parents…it just won’t wait. So we want you to spend as much time appreciating your time on the field as possible. Whether you are playing, slumping to the field after a long day at school for practice – wishing you could go for a little kayak float with your non-playing senior friends instead, hanging out in the locker-room or pushing the dirt around and taking up bases after practice…enjoy your time. Enjoy your purpose. And know that for right now- at this very moment you are exactly where you need and should be, doing what you need and should be doing…. It, meaning life, won’t get much simpler than this! Above all things enjoy and appreciate it, because you will not get this time back.
You see, life doesn’t give us endless chances to ‘play games’ and be a kid! The time you take for granted right now, will be something you deeply miss in just a few short years. Even if you are going on to play in college, you will miss your high school softball moments. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too grown, or too busy, or have to much going on in your life to play softball this year! Take advantage of your time on the field.
- Remember that your presence on that school field, makes a difference in the lives of others! You have touched that dirt beneath your feet for several years. You have won battles and lost them there. You have undoubtedly shed tears, slung curse words, learned lessons about life, started friendships, had heartbreaks, and given a piece of yourself to that DIRT! You have walked in the places of the many others that came before you, and you will leave foot steps for others to come behind you. Maybe their names, or maybe your name lingers on a banner somewhere at the field still. Either way, be mindful of what kind of footprints you leave. (Read that sentence again!) BE MIND OF WHAT FOOTPRINTS YOU LEAVE BEHIND! Consider your legacy to your school program, to the people coming behind you. Ask yourself, will it be a positive one? Will they look back and remember you fondly? Will your teammates and peers who live in the trenches with you, see you as a good person, someone to emulate? Take a moment and reflect. What do your teammates think of you? What would your teammates say about you? Will they be glad you are gone, or will they miss you? Have you been kind, or unkind? Fair or unfair to your teammates? Have you been a good example? What is, what WILL be your legacy? You still have one last chance to make sure that you are leaving behind a legacy you will look back on and be proud of.
- Remember the name on the front of your jersey. This is school ball. You are playing for something much bigger than yourself! You are playing for your school, for your community, for bragging rights. You are playing against your rivals collectively. You are playing for what will be your alma-mater. Whatever you do, needs to reflect positively on the name on the front of your jersey. Out of all the uniforms you wear, or have worn – this one will mean more to you in a decade than possibly any other. Everything you do and say in that jersey reflects upon something larger than just you. You cannot put on that uniform with selfishness. When you agree to put on that jersey, you do so with respect.
- Life is not fair. It never will be. Softball teaches us that. But it’s what we do when things aren’t fair, and how we react to those circumstances that define who we are and who you will become. None of this changes just because you are a senior.
- This time next year, there is a good chance that you will not have your family as close to you as they are now. Appreciate them. Your parents and loved ones have walked with you on this journey, and they want to finish the walk. Don’t think you are too grown, or too big to remember where you came from and who helped you get there. Take the annoying pictures with your mom! Don’t give your dad a hard time for bragging about you or cheering too loud. Give the after game hug, invite them to eat. Let them buy you ice cream. The ones that love you the most deserve your respect. Allow them to enjoy this season too! And trust us, you will miss them!
- Don’t be afraid to take an underclassmen, or newbie to the team under your wing. Make a new friend. We know all that senior seniority stuff is fun, to be the big dog at your school – but we also know that there are girls on that field that look up to you. Maybe you have never spoken to them. But these girls want to be in your shoes. And your kind words, your leadership, your friendship can be powerful. One word spoken at the right time can be life changing for someone else…. Choose to BE powerful for other people.
- Don’t complain. Oh, we know there is so much to complain about. But we promise you will enjoy your time on the field (and off) if you choose to speak about your blessings more than your struggles. And we want you to enjoy this year to the fullest extent.
- Use your senior status to put an end to drama. If you hear it, or see it – don’t engage in it, and sway the conversation. You can be powerful beyond measure!
- Don’t be afraid to pass your torch, as someone in front of you is waiting to pass on a torch to you too….this is the circle of life.
- Say thank you! To the coaches, the teachers, the administration, the teammates, the fellow parents, and anyone who has helped you along the way. Never miss a chance to let someone know you appreciate them!
- Keep God in your heart. You have been blessed BEYOND measure.
- And most of all – HAVE FUN!
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