Cherish Your Time as a High School Athlete
When we are young, we want to speed up time so we can be older. Then we are older and we want time to slow down because we want our youth again. We think being an adult is awesome until we have responsibilities and we miss being in high school when life was simple. If you’re in high school now, you need to cherish your time as a high school athlete. Those four years go fast and they represent some the best times in your life.
Even if you are going on to play sports in college, the next stage has its own pros and cons. We are not saying it is not fun in its own way but there are different stages in life for a reason. What you experience the day in and out in high school you will never experience in other stages in the exact same way.
For some reason, we think and feel that we always need to go faster. The internet needs to move faster, cars need to go faster, illness needs to go away faster, cars need to go faster and the meal we are eating does as well.
Speed becomes the only thing we want and we are rushing to get everywhere. It is like we live in constant fear of missing out. But missing out on what? Most people don’t even know but we do it anyway.
Slowing down feels good and you need to give it a try. Don’t rush to go anywhere. If you are scared of being late, then leave early so you don’t need to rush at all. Take some time to just sit down and do nothing. We have lost the art of doing nothing because we grab our phone the second we feel any idle time creeping up on us.
When you slow down it gives you time to take in what is actually going on around you. You see other people different, you hear them better, you see the beauty in nature, and life just feels better when we are not rushing through it. The reality is that we are all going to die at some point so why rush to your death?
When you are playing sports enjoy every day of it. Including the challenges. When they call your name to come out of the tunnel, or your score your first points, slow down and let that moment really sink in. Take in every detail because they are worth remembering for a lifetime.
Be Mindful of the Present
Mindfulness is what a high school athlete needs now more than ever. Mindfulness comes down to being present and aware. A lot of times our bodies are physically present but our minds are everywhere else.
Tips for Being Mindful
- Spend 10 minutes every day with no technology and just think
- Spend 5 minutes a day in nature
- Spend 5 minutes just observing people around you
- Practice breathing deeply when you feel stressed
- When you are at practice focus on practice and what your coach is telling you
- During games/competitions focus on the task in front of you and executing it well
- Spend time each day and week in reflection
Many of these things are simple to do but simply does not mean easy. Some of these are actually very difficult to do but the rewards for doing them are great!
The biggest thing that high school students take for granted is the ease of making friends and meeting new people. School just presents you with fresh people to be around and then gives you time to hang out each day and build bonds.
These bonds are often strong enough that some will last a lifetime. Many of these people you will cross paths with later in life and even without talking to them consistently, you will still share these strong bonds.
Now, these bonds are magnified by 10 when you play a sport with a friend. You are literally in the trenches together day in and out. You get punished together, you win as one, you lose and feel hurt together. Sports build bonds that are unbreakable for life.
Cherish these friendships. Once high school is over your life will get busier and busier and people get more on their plate and friendships tend to slide down the priority list. High school is the best time for them to thrive.
Laying The Foundation For Success
Believe it or not the high school athlete years separate the successful from the unsuccessful. Who you are in high school dictates and plays a huge role in who you will be after high school. The reason for this is habits.
Success is really about building successful habits from following sound principles. If you follow sound principles and you build excellent habits, it is only a matter of time before success is yours.
I think a lot of people make the mistake of rushing through high school, feeling like high school does not really matter. The truth of the matter is though that high school does matter. Don’t just rush through the days.
Cherish the days by making each day count. Understand that in high school it is easier to make changes than when you get older. During high school is when you start to be set in certain ways, so you want to make sure you are set in the best ways possible.
What Do You Do Next…
To cherish your high school athlete days you need to start by remembering that there is value in your high school years. You don’t need to be older, where you are is just fine.
Then you want to start slowing down in life and stop feeling like you need to rush everywhere. This will give you the time to be more aware of your surroundings and to really dig into building life long friendships. Then the last thing you want to do is pay attention to the fact that who you are in high school will translate to the rest of your life.