Staying determined is key to success in sports

Emily Fenn, Staff Writer

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The softball looked at her with evil eyes. It was controlling her and stopping her from doing what she loves. The pitcher grabbed the ball, but the softball wouldn’t stop staring at the girl on the mound. The ball flew towards her and shouted threats. But before the ball caused any harm, the girl ran away forever.

Doing sports during high school can be fun, rewarding, and full of life lessons. Athletes can make life-long friends and memories, but many athletes say that the worst part about a sport is time management. They don’t know how to handle homework on top of practices and competitions. It stresses them out and keeps them from staying determined and making themselves better.

“Time management is disgusting and draining,” said Kirsten Besterman, a senior in high school who played tennis for a year, basketball all four years, and softball for three years. It is the hardest part of a sport for her.

“Take time away from fun stuff. I put my phone away and stop talking to my friends to get my work done,” said Stephanie Dortch, another senior in high school who played tennis all four years, basketball for three years, and soccer all four years. This was her advice on how she deals with time management, since it is the hardest part of a sport for her as well.

“Do school work ahead of time. It will help a lot, especially since practices or meets can take hours,” said Megan Fenn, a college freshman who used to be in cross-country and track in high school. Doing this helped her deal with time management. Doing a sport on top of all the homework students get can be very stressful. Megan Fenn’s mom, Cindy Fenn, said, however, that doing a sport on top of all this schoolwork is a good thing, “When you do a sport, I think it could make school less stressful. It gives you other things to focus on,” Cindy Fenn said.

Time management isn’t the only tough part about doing a sport. Staying motivated, never giving up, and remembering what motivates you can be tough as well. “Family, friends, and wanting to get better are things that motivate me,” Dortch said.

“The work you put into it and the heart you put into the sport, those feelings mean more than the giving up feelings,” Cindy Fenn said. It is important to keep going and in the end when you decide not to quit, Cindy Fenn said that an athlete will say, “I’m sure glad I didn’t give up on that.” In addition, when you are done with your last practice ever or your last game at the end of high school, you will look back and say it was “not as bad as you thought it would be,” Cindy Fenn said. Focusing on the good will help motivate you. Positivity is key.

Megan Fenn quit track and cross-country her sophomore year of high school because she kept getting injured. Even though she doesn’t regret quitting because her feet are still bad, she was strongly for athletes not giving up in a sport. “It is worth it,” Megan Fenn said. “Whatever their goal is, focus on getting better at what they want to achieve. Push through the negative pain.”

When Dortch wanted to quit soccer, she decided to give it one more go. “I’m glad I played the next year because I fell in love with the sport again,” Dortch said.

Besterman regrets quitting softball her junior year. She strongly said “please don’t” when asked what an athlete should do if they want to give up. “You can’t go back,” Besterman said. Even though she quit softball because a ball hit her one day and ever since, she was afraid to go on the mound and get hit again, she misses softball a lot. So for other athletes who are struggling with the mental aspect of a sport, Besterman talked to coaches and told herself “just one more” whenever she went on the mound. She did quit in the end, but she misses it a lot. It’s best to keep going. “Finish the year. If you aren’t playing for fun, don’t play at all,” Besterman said.

Having friends on your team or just simply there to support you helps a lot with those giving up feelings. Besterman said that her teammates were a big part in keeping her motivated. “They all believe in me. I can’t let them down,” Besterman said.

Dortch helps Besterman a lot and whenever she gets frustrated, Dortch tells her “it’s ok.” And she tells her teammates, “you got it.”

Staying determined is hard, but it is essential in being successful in a sport. “It helps keep you happy. It goes for life too,” Megan Fenn said. “It teaches you and makes you a stronger person inside and out,” Cindy Fenn said.

“Do something you take pride in,” Cindy Fenn said. In the end, you’ll be glad you worked hard. You will see how far you have come and that makes it all worth it.


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Staying determined is key to success in sports