High school sports. Ahhhh, those were the good ole days, right? Eh, I suppose.
Don't get me wrong, I love sports. I LOVE athletics! I really do, but sometimes the politics or something else got in the way of the game.
Let's take a look at my junior year of volleyball. That year, the coach's daughter was a freshman. She was a great athlete and so were a couple of her freshmen friends, but they weren't quite ready for the varsity level - or at least that's what the varsity team thought. Our coach felt different. Needless to say, the coach's daughter and her friends played varsity with us.
After we voiced our opinions on the matter of the younger girls' little experience, we had a "meeting" after one of our away games in our high school locker room. Here, our coach yelled at us. We took it in stride and some of the girls cried and some talked about it and some (me) just sat and took it all in. At one point, my friend Hayley accidentally knocked a table over and us girls giggled about it (because it was funny...and really late at night). Our coach thought we weren't taking the meeting seriously and stormed out. When she came back she yelled at us some more and said, "SHAME ON YOU!" This is an example of politics getting in the way of my love for volleyball.
I'm not saying that my coach was mean or anything, because she was a very good coach. At the time though, I just wanted to play the game without any drama.
Next came softball. Not so much politics in this sport, but other things. Like the year I was in a "slump" with another girl. Our coach moved us down in the batting order, instead of giving us a chance to hit. We never got to practice improving out hitting game during practice...so how were we supposed to get better? Magic? I don't think so. To top it off, my coach printed off an article on hitting slumps and handed them out before a game, where she announced that me and this other girl were both struggling and should really take this article seriously.
If Derek Jeter can go 0-a lot, then so can I. DJ and I had a slump going on at the same time. Except, he was still getting paid thousands and thousands of dollars and I was, well, wasn't.
Another softball moment. It was a windy day one game. I played center field. I had about three or four hits out to me one inning, and the wind would take the ball a lot further than expected. Naturally, because of this wind thing, I couldn't get to the ball in time. So my coach yells from the dugout, "KINSEY! CATCH THE BALL!!!"
I thought to myself, you come out here and try and catch the ball. It's not as easy as it looks. I have a lot of field to cover on top of this frickin' wind blowing the ball every which way. Does it look like I'm trying not to catch the ball??.
So anyway, this post probably sounds like a rant, but I loved high school sports...really, I did. It was just those few moments (which as I look back on them, have made me a better player) that weren't about the game so much as about politics or just about winning.
To me, that's not what sports are all about. It's about love for the game, diving for a ball on the gym floor, getting an ACE and celebrating in the middle of the court, hitting a double, throwing out the runner at home, and (as weird as this sounds) getting hit by a pitch and running down the line to first base where the assistant coach would say, "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever."
Then I would think, yeah, but that really hurt.