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Play for Something Bigger Than Yourself

Aloera Ostermann, Staff Writer

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As athletes we often times go to our games and just play. Sometimes we play for something, other times we just go through the motions. But I have no doubt that every time you play for something bigger than yourself, no matter the outcome, the experience is much better.

In every sport, if we spend our time focusing on how “I” can be the best than we will never be satisfied.”

As athletes, we all want to be the best: the best player, the best leader, the best teammate. Yet we can’t always accomplish that, at least not when we play just for ourselves.

In every sport, if we spend our time focusing on how “I” can be the best then we will never be satisfied. There will always be something more we are trying to reach, something that is typically unattainable. Yet if the focus is switched to how can “we” be the best, that is attainable. By everyone working together and building not only bonds during the game but during life as well your team becomes much stronger as a whole. Then, as a team “we” can eventually become the best.

This is the first step in playing for something more. By doing this you’re learning to play for your team rather than just for yourself. But what if we take it a step further? What if as individuals we each had our own thing to play for? We could play for the team and our own cause. We would be stronger we would know that the wins and losses are more than that. We could learn that it’s about the effort and the hard work that make or break the game not just the score. With this mentality, you could be good, really good. The wins and losses wouldn’t affect you as much, they wouldn’t matter because although wins are a bonus that’s not the only thing you are playing for. You have a cause, a reason to keep doing good and a reason to get better.

Now imagine as a team your not only playing with a “we over me” mentality but that you’ve all found one cause, one thing to fight for. You’re all motivated by this thing, you’re playing each game with this thing in your head and each win is dedicated to this one thing. As a team, the losses may be tougher but the victories are so much sweeter. You all have one common goal, one thing that drives each and every one of you to do your best.

In sports, you have to make each game worth something. As a team, find one thing that motivates you, one thing to fight for, one thing that makes every loss worth the hard work. As athletes, we have to find something to continually motivate us and that thing is best found when we become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Basketball coach Jim Valvano once said, “A person does not become whole until he or she becomes a part of something bigger than himself or herself.” So take some time to find out what you are playing for, to figure out why you go through the long and grueling practices the tough games. What is your reason to play? Is it bigger than yourself? If not go out and find something that is and all the time you spend working to be better will suddenly be worth it.  

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Play for Something Bigger Than Yourself