March 26, 2015
Marshall Independent, This is a scary time of year. We're no longer protected by the cocoons of our bulky winter jackets, heated gymnasiums, and excuses to stay on our couches. We have to go outside, dress for a Russian Roulette of weather conditions, and watch sports that roll along at a different pace than we're used to. Things are changing.
That's no different for our sports teams. I've noticed that spring sports don't get as much love as fall and winter sports. People anticipate fall and winter sports seasons starting, while spring sports eventually show up. You can usually identify a football or basketball player, but it's harder to pick out a baseball or softball player. Kids "try out" track & field, rather than focus on it.
Marshall girls track and field coach Marie Sample told me that shapes the identity of her team.
"We have a young team again. It's hard to keep our juniors and seniors," said Sample before her team's practice. "JO volleyball, AAU for basketball and volleyball, often times when they get to that age they opt to go to that and just do that."
That's totally fine if kids want to focus on one sport, but I don't think that's the best route for everyone.
I saw almost 100 kids convening around the gymnasium before practice. I am sure some will drop once the season gets going.
I hope they stick with it. It's easy to take a few months off or focus on one sport that you know and love, but it's hard to try something new. It's hard to get out of your comfort zone. But that's when the best things happen.
A college friend of mine, Al struggled to figure out what he was going to do after graduation. He thought about staying in the Twin Cities or sticking around close to home. However, he eventually decided to volunteer in Tanzania.
I still remember when he told me. He was leading an admissions tour and I waved to him as I walked by, heading to class. He called to me and said, "Hey, I'm going to Tanzania." He was cool, collected, and scared as heck. And five years later, Al is a better, more complete person because of it.
My favorite author, Anne Lamott wrote the following,"It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life."
And the more time you spend in that weight room, the better off you will be.