While most people choose to go to college and take part in Greek Life or just focus on their studies, I chose a different path. I decided to play a college sport, and it’s almost always an amazing, fun experience. However, it’s when you’re faced with the hard times that you realize just how great it is to be a part of a team. This is what being a team means to me…
Being part of a team shapes who you are.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to continue playing their sport in college, but I’m thankful everyday that I got to. It has shaped me to become the person I want to be. I have become a hard worker, a leader, someone who doesn’t give up, and someone who knows how to support others. The support is the greatest part of being on a team. Your teammates support you through your sport, in the classroom, and in your personal life.
You always have a place.
The good news is: there’s room for everyone. Each team is filled with all types of people – the goofy ones, the quiet ones, the smart ones, the determined ones, the creative ones, etc. Though everyone may be different, it’s weird how similar everyone is. Each member on a team has their own roles and could never be replaced. And it’s the difference that makes everyone work so well together. Every now then you need a levelheaded person to control the crazy ones. Just like you need the crazy person to help break the quiet person out of their shell.
Your teammates become your best friends.
Practices, weight lifting, games, team trips, study halls. You spend A LOT of time with your team. So it’s no surprise that your teammates eventually become your best friends. Whether you’re laughing on a midnight bus ride, dying while completing running, or winning your game, you’re thankful for each moment with your team.
I remember the first day of my first preseason. I was terrified because we had a fitness test, and I had very few friends at college at that moment (since preseason started before my freshman year of classes even started). However, it didn’t take long for me to figure out who my friends would be. I easily gained 20 friends in one day. It’s not because I’m one of those super funny people that people see and think “I NEED TO BE HER FRIEND,” but because there’s something special about shedding blood, sweat, and tears with others. It really brings people together.
And eventually they become family.
While friends are great, overtime your team members aren’t your friends anymore. Your team becomes even more than your best friends, they become your family. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. When you are away from your family and live with these people, you build a relationship like that of siblings. Maybe you get in a fight, but you get over it. Maybe you yell at each other in a game, but you get over it. As a team member, you know that the point is never to hurt someone’s feelings. So, like family members, you hug and make up.
You make long lasting memories with your team.
Another great thing is, those friendships last forever. Whenever you go back home, whether that is a few miles away or in another country; you know if you called anyone on the team, they’d answer on the first ring. You have hundreds of pictures, stories, and memories with these people. So, you know that one day when you have children, you will be telling them countless stories about your awesome team. And, of course, you’re going to force them into team sports when they are young, so they can hopefully fall in love with the sport and the team the way you did.
There is no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision to continue playing the sport I love in college. The reason I have no doubts is because I love my team. You may get mad at each during a very competitive practice (so, like everyday), but at the end of the day, you laugh it out. Being a part of a team is a great experience that not everyone gets to be a part of. So, if you have the chance to be part of a team, I advise you to take it and enjoy it!
Feature image source: beautifulquiltfabric.com
Allie Hale is a collegiate athlete and plays soccer at Reinhardt University. She is a marketing major and an advertising minor. Her favorite days are lazy days where she can just watch Netflix and eat snacks and candy. Her favorite candies are Kit-Kats and Reese’s. And she loves anything Oreo flavored.