Sports are often about the moment. The last-second winning goal, the flawlessly executed shot, players moving together as an improvisational “One.” Perfect moments. And of course there are the moments of opportunity lost. An instant of inopportune hesitation, a fatefully poor choice, the basketball that rolls around then off the rim.
But connecting these moments are the greater themes. The reasons why we play, watch, and coach sports. The experiences gained, the lasting satisfactions, and the regrets of opportunities lost.
On Thanksgiving, in this setting, it seems appropriate to serve some personal reflections on this subject. So here are ten reasons why I’m thankful for my life in sports:
- I’m thankful for the opportunity to express myself. To find a venue to achieve some individual excellence—to both fit in and stand out.
- I’m thankful for the warm sense of community that sports have provided me.
- More than the community itself, I’m thankful for the lifelong best friends that sports have brought me.
- I’m thankful for those instances where I worked hard, played well, and achieved success. They are forever within me and cannot be taken away.
- I’m thankful for never having a serious injury in my youth that kept me away from my sports.
- I’m thankful for parents that were always supportive and provided me with the opportunity to fulfill my passion for playing sports.
- I’m thankful for the connection with my dad that sports provided. Playing catch, after dinner games of ping-pong in the winter, and coaching me in youth sports, all helped strengthen our relationship.
- I’m thankful for those perfect moments—when I was one with the play and sometimes rose above my own expectations. (How did I do that?)
- On the backside of life, I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to coach kids and possibly make a difference in their lives. Coaching helps keep me connected and is the closest experience to playing.
- I’m thankful now for some of my failures, difficult times, and even some youthful betrayals. They've provided experiences that have prepared me to better handle similar situations later in life.
Copyright © 2012 Jeffrey S. Rhoads. All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2009-2012 Jeffrey S. Rhoads; All Rights Reserved