If you’re a fan of the blog, you will know that I loved high school. Perhaps I loved it too much as I’m going into my third year of university and I’m still writing about being a teenager. High school for me was a time of bliss and finding out what kind of person I wanted to be in life. Those four (and a half) years defined me as a person as I was very fortunate to go to school in a great environment. I never realized how great my school was until I graduated and listened to other students’ stories of their high schools and compared them to my own experience. I never realized that for many high schools, students graduating and going to post secondary wasn’t the norm. It was the expectation at my alma mater to have good grades, be involved, and to win in sports. I’m telling you guys this to set the tone for why I’m writing this post. High school, and the people involved, and the sports I played, made such an impact on me in my life that I cannot put into words how appreciative I am of the experience. And after the impact that has been left on me, I feel as if I should give back to that community, and I do it as a volunteer coach.
I think that the most of grown up society looks at teenagers as kids who make a huge fuss about things that are not going to matter much once they mature, and most of grown up society would be right. However, a lot of the “fusses” that teenagers make can often be looked aside and can leave very stressful experiences for these kids. And in the four years of high school, kids are doing everything for the first time and the rate of growth for these high school students is rapid and for a lot of students, they need a little bit of guidance. High school tends to be the time in most kids lives when they feel pressure (to do well in school), meet their first love, drink alcohol or do drugs for the first time, and other acts in which I do not want to write about, so with all those factors how are high school kids who are – remember, growing at a rapid pace – finding the time to relax? They pick up a hobby, or for many kids – they pick up a sport.
For me personally, I remember in high school, I was freaking in LOVE with this girl who had no clue (because I was a little bitch and was to afraid to say anything) and that situation stressed me the FUCK out because for the first time in my life, I was thinking about someone for most of the day without her thinking of me, and that hurt. This girl would talk about other dudes and I would just listen like I was trying to help her but in reality in my mind, I was stabbing this dude’s metaphorical voodoo doll. I also knew most of these dudes as I went to school with these guys, and I liked them – they were good people, so hating them was for sure the wrong emotion to feel! I would think about this when I woke up, when I ate lunch, when I ate dinner, and it was the last thing on my mind before I drifted to sleep. However, the one part of the day in which I did not think of that stress was after school between 3 pm and 5 pm (sometimes 6 pm). Those were the times I was out spinning a rugby ball, reading defences, and watching game film. If you’ve read my past blog about love, you’ll have a better idea about what I’m talking about. No one invests themselves in sports unless they genuinely enjoy (some may even say love) them. Something about the pain, the thinking on your feet, and the sweat, that makes the end of the day feel so much more fulfilling. For me, I loved that 5 minutes after a practice when the sun would just start to set. The wind would be cool and the sky would turn into a combination of grey and blue. That was my happy place. The calmness of letting the feeling of that effort you put in sink into your body. Utter bliss.
And in four years of high school, when teenagers are rapidly growing those are the moments they’ll remember. Those are the moments that make the stressful stuff seem so trivial when they become adults. As a coach, if I can give those kids that moment, I have done more than enough. I just want the kids to know that even if the stress of school, relationships, and even (mental) health get in the way, that they have a safe and comforting place after school waiting for them. That somewhere people are rooting for them and wanting them to succeed, a place where people will support you, and like minded people will become your friends. I just want the kids to know that there is someone who cares.