I love sports. Any sport. Always have.
If it's a competition in which two or more individuals must face-off in order to accomplish a task involving control of their bodies, all the while trying to impeed the oposition from accomplishing their goal, I am in!
Lacrosse? Yes. Football? Check. Hockey? Eh!
I don't ever need to be asked twice about attending athletic events. I love attending. Be it college football, major league baseball, or girls field hockey. It matters not to me. I think a large part of my obsession with sporting events is the venue experience. There is something about the crowd, the building, the food... it just energizes me. I imagine what I experience at athletic events to be similar to the quazi-religious experience described by surfers who catch the perfect wave, musicians who hear the perfect note, or mechanics listening to a finely-tuned engine.
I vividly remember the first time I went to a professional athletic event. Fenway Park. June, 1993. Boston-Minnesota. Brendaen took me to see my first professional game. I remember coming up out of the subway and seeing the park lights. Being a part of the crown walking toward the stadium. Hearing the sizzle and smelling the sausage as we passed vendors on the sidewalk. As we came up out of the tunnel through the portal along the right field line, my breath caught in my chest. The field was so GREEN! Everything was crisp. Sharp. The athletes' uniforms. The baselines. The contrast between the infield dirt and the green of the grass. The hard crack of the wood bat hitting the ball as the players took BP. The ball hitting the leather of a glove. The vendors walking the aisles calling "spoahhhts bahhhhhs!" I soaked it in. I bathed in it.
Sports have defined me. They played a very important role in my identity for a long time. I first learned who I was on an athletic field. I figured out what it looks and feels like when a team is working with one purpose. A bunch of guys with a destination in mind. I learned what it takes to win, and I learned what it takes to lose. But more important, I learned what it is to be a winner, and I learned what it means to be a loser. More specifically, you don't always win, and that doesn't make you a loser. Conversely, you don't always lose, but that doesn't make you a winner. As I see it, being a winner, or being a loser is all in how you deal with adversity. You see, for every young athlete, there comes a moment of clarity: you've been lied to. You're not really the best at EVERYTHING you do. You can't actually do ANYTHING you put your mind to. You're actually not special. Some people are just going to be better than you are. This is the moment you really find out who you are. You have two options, basically: you can call it a day, cash in your chips and claim "well, I really just do this for fun, anyway", or you can rise to the occasion. You see, you are not the best, and you may never be.... but..... you can still beat that guy! You just need to learn what it takes.
At this point, I need to cut myself off, because you don't really want to read the book I would have to write to fully explain myself. So, let me get to the point:
I hate what youth sports is becoming today. We don't keep score. We give everyone a trophy. Bull Crap! What are we trying to pull? It is sick. And wrong.
That's why I love what this lady has to say.
Preach on, Sister!