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What Goes Through Your Mind The Day After Your Last Game

When you are a freshman and still have an entire four years to play the sport that you love with the people you love while defending the school that you love, you don’t entirely realize that the time will fly and that your senior game is closer than you can imagine.

You are so in love with your new life playing this sport that you tend not to think about how quickly the future might approach. You might only be focusing on the present and living for the moment, but these are the best things you can do.

One day, however, the end of your athletic career will come, and it will hit you like a ton of bricks.

One day, however, the end of your athletic career will come, and it will hit you like a ton of bricks. The idea of “the end” arriving will consume you in a way that you can’t explain. You won’t be able to fathom the seeming lack of logicality of how quickly it did.

You will feel proud for finishing your career and for overcoming the many challenges that, looking back, you never imagined you could. At the same time, however, you will feel lost, because everything you have and everything you know is now “the past.”

This is a mere description of what I can put into words regarding the feeling I experienced waking up that Sunday after playing my final game the preceding Saturday night.

After four years of completing the hard work and commitment required to succeed as a student-athlete, my job was finally done, and my playing time was over. I had no more practices, no more bruises or soreness from morning workouts, no more road trips with my best friends, no more smiles or celebrations after a win, no more disappointment or frustration after a loss. Simply the thought of starting a new life without the teammates who were around me for four years, for the good and bad moments, is scary and challenging.

People tell you that you should be prepared for the day when it all ends, and that you will be ready because your work is done. However, I genuinely don’t think that anybody can be fully prepared for the end of a four-year cycle of their lives that means so much to them. No matter the plans you have for your future, your employment status, where you live, or who you meet, the end of your college career as a student-athlete will mark you forever.

No matter the plans you have for your future, your employment status, where you live, or who you meet, the end of your college career as a student-athlete will mark you forever.

After a long and grueling season this fall, the end has finally come for me.

If I could choose one piece of advice to give to young players just beginning this cycle, I would tell them to never take the sport they love for granted and to never let anybody tell them they are not capable of doing something.

I would tell them to enjoy every single moment they have with their teammates and friends as much as possible because, one day, everything is going to exist only in their memories.

I’d tell them that the best feeling they can carry with them is the pride and joy of enduring and completing their athletic career.