I think the toughest thing for kids to handle is being cut from a team or not making the ‘A’ team that they wanted to. I’m not talking high school kids, I’m talking junior high age or younger.
We have put such an emphasis on sports that there is a heck of a lot of pressure to make these teams. When the kids don’t make it, they feel crushed and want to quit. I always encourage these kids not to quit because so much can happen between now and when they enter high school.
You never know who will choose a different sport to focus on and what extra work a kid will do to get better and leap frog a bunch of players who previously might have been on the ‘A’ team.
My senior year in high school, I made the state track meet in the long jump and mile relay. I got 7th place in the long jump, which back then you didn’t receive any medal for that. You just got a nice pat on the back.
Our mile relay team got second in the state. That was my last track meet of my high school career and I could very easily say that I didn’t do better because I just was not good enough. But, if you were to really examine it that isn’t the excuse that I can hang my hat on.
Between the end of track season junior year and the start of it senior year, I didn’t really do a whole heck of a lot to get better.
I didn’t put myself on some weightlifting program to get stronger. I certainly had the time to do that. I didn’t seek out some guru to help me with my long jump technique or my speed. I didn’t do extra track work in the fall to set me up for success once track started in the spring.
Think about it. Our mile relay team was .6 seconds away from the first place team. I was 4 inches away from getting a medal in the long jump. Yes, I wasn’t good enough for that particular day, but I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t do X, Y, or Z to get myself better. Opportunities that were there, but I chose to ignore for one reason or another.
At some point, you retire from your organized sport’s career because you aren’t good enough. Whether you get cut from your high school team, a college doesn’t want you, you don’t get drafted to the pros, or you get cut from your professional sport team.
All those scenarios, pretty much the reason you get cut the majority of the time is because you aren’t good enough.
The thing is you want to make sure if that is your reason there aren’t any caveats to that.
I wasn’t good enough…because I didn’t put in the extra dribbling work I needed to do to tighten up my ball handling skills. This is a caveat.
I wasn’t good enough…because I didn’t get stronger in the offseason which potentially could have helped my sprint speed. This is another caveat.
I wasn’t good enough…because I didn’t work on my ball foot skills and couldn’t control the soccer ball as well as I should have. This is yet another caveat. Get the point?
If you have the opportunity to get better at your sport then you can’t pass that up. You need to figure out what you need to do to take advantage of that. You want to be a better athlete going into a sport than when you left it the previous season.
If you do all the things necessary to get better. You take advantage of the opportunities out there. You get yourself to be a better athlete than you were before and you still don’t make a team. It still won’t feel great, but at least then you can truly say “I just was not good enough” and now there will be a period at the end of that statement.