Getting ahead of the game

Athletic success in high school requires dedication, determination, and a willingness to work hard on the field or on the court.

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Getting ahead of the game

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Jim Kliver, Staff Writer

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Within a new student athlete, there is potential. There is a craving to be a part of a “family” which is made of peers. The process isn’t easy, but the keys to any success is the tireless work ethic of a student and an athlete.

“The biggest thing coaches look for in a athlete is hard work and determination. Not only to make themselves better, but to make the team better,” said Darren Conwell, a freshman at Hoffman. Athletes need to be hard workers and have the determination to make themselves better.

Beyond those attributes great athletes also inspire those around them, helping other players unlock their true potential.

“Coaches notice everything. How seriously do you take it? Who shows up?” says Todd Meador, HEHS science department chairman  and former Varsity baseball coach. Coaches notice every single thing that athletes do. They see what the athlete is made of just by holding events and meetings or when running certain drills.

“Coaches look for great guys. They may not even have to be the best players, just good-hearted athletes,” says Chuck Abbott, former Varsity baseball head coach.

To have these qualities, especially at such a young age, is what truly catches the eyes of a coach for any team. High school sports require dedication and determination. Student athletes have to make sure that the classroom work is up to date and that grades are not a problem.

“Getting it done in the classroom is a major key for a new athlete,” said Thomas Nock, a sophomore baseball player. “That shows they have that responsibility and determination to play. That really catches the attention of coaches whether you think it does or not.”

As a student athlete, grades are the biggest and undoubtedly the most important task. Balancing the grades with everyday practice is difficult. There will be games where the bus will get back to school around seven or eight at night, and there might be a few assignments due first block or second block that aren’t completed because of getting home so late. Taking advantage of study halls will ensure that responsibility factor that keeps grades up and the coaches will notice that.

“Coaches will tell you maybe what you don’t want to hear, but that’s them communicating clearly to you,” says Meador. A coach in any sport will always communicate clearly their expectations of the athletes. They will be honest, maybe brutally honest, and they will tell you what they see with no sugar coating. That’s the reality of high school sports.

Following what the coach is saying, as well as being coachable is another quality coaches look for in a player. “Having an open mind and being coachable, I know, is something I look for deeply in a player,” says Abbott. “Players who can adjust and are willing to work are the kind of great guys I was talking about earlier.”

The success of young, new athletes, in any sport, relies on their personalities and their character. The ones who can provide or showcase even a couple of these qualities, are almost guaranteed to obtain a spot on the team they tryout for. The takeaway here is catch the coach’s eye and get ahead of the game.

 

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Getting ahead of the game