It's the time when regular season ends and we start post season tournaments for many sports. It’s the time when careers end, senior nights are held and we celebrate the ability to participate in athletics and we recognize those who have participated, excelled and those who will be moving into post-season.
The conflict of these scenarios do not go unnoticed. Some put their stuff away to prepare for the winter season or next year. Others put their stuff away and not to be used again. They are the ones that we say thanks for the memories. The lessons learned from participation in athletics are some of our greatest learning experiences. Students learn life lessons from competition and being in a competitive athletic environment. Sometimes the answers are cold, stark realities, but they are situations that we will face as we move forward in life. It's the way we deal with these situations that will be a great predictor of future success.
A large part of this athletic experience is one's perspective. It is a wonderful concept when it is handled without the gut wrenching emotion that is developed in the athletic arena. Everything is fun and games until we keep score. That statement right there changes everything and brings the competitive nature out of people that may have never been known. It also brings out actions in people that can be positive or negative. Cheering, supporting the team, their coaches, their school on their success is great fun. Criticizing the team, coaches, school is unacceptable and, quite frankly, promotes boorish behaviors.
Officials, coaches, players are all part of the recipe that makes up a game. They are all trying their best not to make mistakes and do their absolute best. But some so-called fans, like to take this opportunity to criticize them for their perceived mistakes when many times the "experts' have no clue. Do us all a favor, if you know so much try it. You'll find out very quickly it's not as easy as it looks from the stands. Players, coaches and officials all try their best to do it right; fans should do the same.
So here's a novel idea. Be positive! Support your teams as they advance to the post-season. Celebrate their accomplishments as a team, a community, a group and if defeated, recognize the victor. Salute their accomplishment and understand that on this one day, one team performed better and we recognize their achievement. We all know that at the end of the season, everyone and every team loses their last competition, except one; the champion. That is why perspective always makes the difference.