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Why It's More Than Just A Game To Me

Image: Tom Werner

I still remember playing my last high school softball game. As I watched my teammate make the final out, I slowly crumbled to the ground cross-legged and cried.

There would be no consoling me. I had been playing with the same teammates from the time I was ten years old, and now it was over. I remember people trying to make me feel better, by saying that it was okay, that it was just a game. And, I remember, upon hearing those words, I sobbed harder because I could see that they really did not understand.

This game is what molded me into the human being I am today and to downgrade it as a simple competition does not suffice.

This game is what molded me into the human being I am today and to downgrade it as a simple competition does not suffice. The game is so much more, and it should be regarded as more for many reasons.

 

The game will consume your time.

You want to be the best, so you put in the effort to be the best. You work out, you study plays, and you prepare your body and mind in all possible ways. You learn how to compete and how to fail. You learn how to lead and how to be a member of a team. You are forced to deal with hardships and obstacles, and you do it because you love the game. It gives you purpose. The dedication is what makes winning so rewarding and losing so incredibly painful.

You learn how to compete and how to fail. You learn how to lead and how to be a member of a team.

 

The game becomes your escape.

When life is difficult, you find yourself spending extra hours in the gym. The practices are a form of therapy, and the competitions are your saving grace. You find that as you grow up, the struggles the world throws at you are hard, but taking cuts off a tee simplify the difficulties.

 

The game grants you enduring friendships.

Your teammates appreciate the grind. They know how it feels when you’re struggling on your last rep or when the outside world is knocking you down. They spend the majority of their time with you; so, they know how to cheer you up, hype you up, or simply just be there to laugh with you.

 

The game gives you experiences.

It takes you places you probably would not have traveled if you were not a member of a team. You get to explore, and you get to do so with great people. You create memories that are ever-lasting.

 

The game teaches you who you are.

It tests you, and you either have to step up and respond or crumble. You are forced to stare at yourself, your flaws, and your strengths. You are able to evaluate the kind of human being you are and the kind of human being you want to become. It creates resiliency in the face of adversity and lifts you in both the brightest and darkest points of your life experience.

When a chapter of the game ends, or you cannot play the game any more, a part of you is going to grieve.

The game is not just a game. It is your entire essence of being. So, when a chapter of the game ends, or you cannot play the game any more, a part of you is going to grieve. The emotions that you reserved for the game are not going to be accessed any longer, but the person it has made you is going to live on. It will be painful, but just as it has taught you, you will overcome the hardship. And, hopefully, those consoling you will understand what it has done for you. Hopefully, they will acknowledge its significance and understand why every athlete sees their sport as so much more than anyone can really comprehend.


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