Open Letter to Young Athletes
If You Have the Talent, You Have the Choice
You have the all too rare chance to achieve something really great. Few, if any of your friends are in that position. It’s not fair that in the same situation, those who don’t have the choice risk nothing, while you risk everything; but that’s how it is.
You work very hard and have seen it start to pay off. It will take much more to reach what you’re really capable of. All your dreams are right in front of you. Unlike many others whose dreams will remain just that, you have the chance to live yours.
Never forget that you’re old enough now to be one bad decision or someone’s social media share away from joining those whose dreams are destined to remain unreachable. You’ll be able to climb the mountain, but find no prize waiting at the top, no matter how skilled a climber you are.
That split second which puts everything out of reach may even seem like no big deal at the time. It may seem funny, a joke; just boys being boys. Others won’t see it so cavalierly though.
Be a savage on the field or be one on social media. The choice is yours and you’d better choose wisely.
You won’t get both.
Better hope every single one of your 1,000 followers, or anyone they send it to, likes what they see. Who’s looking? What they see is a reflection of their team, company, organization, or school, if they let you be a part of it. Will you shine a good light on it for them, or will they decide that your savagery is not how they want their organization, team, or school to be portrayed?
You’ll simply be scratched off a list you didn’t even know you were on. The coveted phone calls reaching others instead, while you wait and wonder. If the infraction is severe enough in the minds of those that matter, you could even be denied the ability to play at all, even now.
How will you make all the family, friends, teachers and coaches who have supported you feel? It can be extreme pride or abject disappointment. Again, the choice is yours to make.
Don’t take your own dreams away, when you are one of the few for whom living them is a real opportunity. “I could have been, if only….” is a thought you don’t want to live with for the rest of your life, especially when you could look back and say “I was”
Sent from my iPhone