This is an urgent message to all of my fellow athletes out there. Throughout my high school soccer career, my coach used to preach a very simple but important message to the team. He would say to us:
“Guys, when it’s over, it’s over!”
To me, those words just seemed like a cliché at the time. His message didn’t begin to resonate with me until I began my senior college soccer season.
He was referring to the fact that aside from the very few that make it to the “big leagues”, most athletic careers will come to an end sooner or later. In other words, it will not last forever!
Some may see their careers as never-ending because, in the moment, athletics make up an extremely large part of every day life, occupying ample amounts of time and energy. From this perspective, it is very easy for athletes to become complacent and simply coast through their careers. I encourage you to take a different outlook and embrace all aspects of the grind. Take advantage of every opportunity to train and get better and when it is time to suit up in your team’s colors, play your heart out like it’s your last chance. One day, it will be your last chance.
On Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 I played my final soccer match as a Guilford College Quaker, marking the end of a career that I once thought would never end. Frankly, it is difficult to articulate what that feels like.
The accomplishments, lessons, relationships and experiences that accumulated over the course of my career have played a pivotal role in shaping the person that I am today and I could not be more grateful. Now I find myself desperately wishing that I had one more year of eligibility. One more go at it. Ask any former athlete and I guarantee you they will sing the same tune.
So, once again, to ALL athletes out there, no matter what stage of your career you are in: EMBRACE THE GRIND. WORK TOWARD BECOMING BETTER EVERY DAY. COMPETE. SOAK UP EVERY EXPERIENCE, WIN OR LOSE. NEVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. AND ENJOY IT. Because “When it’s over, it’s over!”
Join Convene Soccer for FREE.