Having been a two sport athlete all throughout high school, playing one sport competitively all year round, the struggles of being a competitive athlete in high school were very real. The following are signs that prove you to be a competitive high school athlete:
1. On multiple occasions you had someone say to you #ballislife or #(insert sport here)islife.
Yes – a competitive athlete’s sport in high school was their life!! Dedication to one’s sport is key to one’s success and shows one’s competitiveness in the best way – through one’s heart and desire to play.
2. Having to go to practices multiple nights a week for at least 2 hours……
3. And returning to your phone after practice to find your group chat had blown up with at least 100 messages.
Practices are always grueling. In gyms without air conditioning or on fields in the hot sun or bitter cold, the competitive high school athlete is typically “stuck” practice for about 2 hours and within those two hours there is no touching your phone – unless its to tell your parents when practice will be over. So, naturally, at the end of practice, you will find that your phone has a lot of messages for you to catch up on – or ignore.
4. Having to drive ungodly distances for practices at ungodly hours.
To be the best, sometimes you have to travel far to play for and with the best. The people who truly want to be the best will do whatever it takes to do so – including driving multiple hours for practices and the multiple hours back home, making for late nights and lots of time for homework in the car.
5. Had to get on a plane in order to play in a tournament.
There’s always tournaments that your competitive team would travel to in order to prove that your team is number one. Whether it was an hour flight or five hour flight, the competitive athlete has had to travel a distance to show his or her dedication and passion for his or her sport.
6. Became unfazed by a coach getting in your face and telling you to get your act together.
There are many different types of coaches – and all competitive athletes know that there are some coaches who are yellers and others who are not. Being told to get your act together by a non yeller is one thing, but someone getting in your face, practically spraying you because they know your can do better is an experience like no other. Although frightening the first time, you become used to it and learn that the day your coach stops yelling is the day they stop caring.
7. Know what the acronym H.A.M means and were proud to embody it.
Go H.A.M. or Go Home – the motto of a competitive athlete.
8. You had a sports related injury which should have prevented you from playing, but when asked by your coaches, “are you good to go?” you answered “yes I can play.”
Probably wasn’t in the best interest of your ankle, knee, shoulder, hand, etc., yet you decided the game was more important and the injury could be addressed after you won the game.
9. No matter how much you said you hated practicing, you took any opportunity you had to get better.
Ever heard the term gym rat? If you were a competitive basketball player in high school, you were definitely living in the gym, working on you shot, ball handling, and quickness. Likewise for any football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, or other sport athlete, you were a field or court rat, working on skills and drills to improve what was good about your game until it became great.
10. When asked if you could hang out this weekend you had to respond, “Sorry I have (insert your sport here.)”
What can you say besides the fact that your sport comes first!!! Sorry friends! If you could be there you would!
11. You pushed yourself to be the best you were capable of becoming…
12. But pushed yourself a little too hard and made yourself sick or injured.
It happens to the best of competitive athletes – you’re working hard to perfect and improve, but make the mistake of pushing yourself past your limit, leading you to either hurting yourself or making yourself sick to your stomach.
13. Your workout clothes consist of t-shirts from tournaments, camps, and other team gear that you picked up while playing.
While the some workout in all Nike or Under Armour, you can be found sporting clubs and teams who no one has ever heard of, but you wear that gear proudly!!
14. You have a drawer full of pinnies which you have no idea what to do with anymore.
What to do with all the reversible pinnies you’ve collected over the years? Hope you live somewhere warm – you can add them to your workout clothes collection!
15. The words “Get on the line” give you PTSD flashbacks of preseason and conditioning during practice.
The dreaded thought of sprints up and down the court or field makes you light headed and short of breath – and you haven’t even done the running!
16. When rushing out for a practice or a tournament, you happened to forget one key piece of a equipment necessary to compete: either your sneakers/cleats or a piece of your uniform.
Explaining to your coach and teammates that you didn’t bring your shoes or the jersey you need to play the game is always rough, but it happens to every competitive athlete at least once.
17. You found yourself questioning whether or not it’s worth it to keep playing after a bad game.
If you were a true competitive athlete, you did question why you were still playing, but realized it’s because you truly love the game.
18. You’ve had aspirations of either playing in college/professional, but if that didn’t work out decided you want to coach.
Coaching definitely isn’t for everyone, but competitive athletes who have a passion for their sport want to be involved with the sport in anyway they possibly can and coaching is one way to do so.
19. You found yourself able to talk about your sport for hours on end.
Whether it be about your performance in your last game, or planning for the next practices and games coming up, you could talk anyone’s ear off about your sport – even if they didn’t want to hear it.
20. Although your sport may have caused you aches and pains and struggles, you made some of your best friends through playing them.
Forever friends are found through sports. Your teammates are the people who share the same passion and love for the sport that you feel, giving you a key thing to bond on. Competitive athletes who are friends with competitive athletes push each other to make each the other better as well.