Watching a bunch of college softball games this week it hit me. For a lot of these senior athletes they have hit the end of the road. For most, they and their schools celebrated their careers with celebrations of all shapes and sizes. Tears are shed and memories relived while the fans cheer and teammates get in their last regular season hug or high five.
Now, before we get too sappy I know that many of these players still have conference tournaments and NCAA post-season play to look forward to but no one can underestimate the impact that suiting up for the last time, on your home field, can have on a player, her coaches, teammates and families. To say this is a major life event for everyone involved seems to be selling the whole thing short.
So we all know that the end of a players career is a huge thing. But there is a very important message hiding in plain sight for all the other players (those that still have years of softball in their future) to pay attention to.
Every year or season has an end to it. Once a year ends, it is gone forever. Now coaches get to keep coaching for as long as they want to. Trust me, no matter how old a coach gets there are still more opportunities ahead of them. Players, however, need to understand a very different reality.
Every year a player plays they are that much closer to the end of their playing days. When you finish up your freshman year, or your second year of 12 and under, or first year of tee ball you are one year closer to the Senior Day moments we talked about earlier. All athletes, except Tom Brady, reach the point where their career ends, just like death and taxes, you can count on it happening!
So the what is the important message for players with time to keep playing?
Play and practice every day like it might be your last. In a blink of an eye, it will be.
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?