Just because this especially difficult brand of adversity comes every fall about this time, doesn’t mean the coaching needs to end. It just needs to be reformatted to be delivered to your “inbox”.
Just because we ran out of days to practice and games to play doesn’t mean that we are not still a team. No ties have been severed. No bonds have been broken. You remain today as you will always be going forward: AS ONE.
Just because your uniform will soon be hanging in shed #25, doesn’t mean that you aren’t wearing the colors year ’round. Although no one else can see them, they should be able to tell that you are a Cardinal by your thoughts, words and deeds.
Just because you gained all this extra time after school doesn’t mean it is meant to wasted and frittered away. Personal responsibility comes with gaining some independence. You still need to make the most of your time, whether you are pushing your academic envelope upward and outward, practicing an instrument, working towards becoming an Eagle, or strengthening your Core. Tick. Tock.
Just because the venues you will be playing on from now until next August are not green with white stripes in ten yard increments doesn’t mean that you can’t still “leave it on the field”. Whether it is the class room, the auditorium, a basketball court, hockey rink or wrestling mat – you need to wring it out of yourself every moment you are there. Don’t save effort. It doesn’t gain mass or accrue interest if kept in storage. It has a very limited shelf life.
Just because someone paints themselves with the brush of bad choices, rebellion or bullying doesn’t mean you have to get painted the same way. There is no value to be found in the false accolades that come with engaging in this type of art. You are already a masterpiece. Treat yourself that way.
Just because you are not part of the “in group” doesn’t mean you necessarily need to be a member. There are many others out there that didn’t make the cut either. No matter. Be secure in your self. Be who you are. Be the best possible version of you. In so doing, others will be drawn to you. Before you know it, you will be a member of your own group.
Just because your best friend makes a bad choice doesn’t mean you have to do the same to remain their friend. Friends need to be able to both deliver and hear the truth. Follow that voice that resides inside. It always has this knack for knowing the right answer to the even most difficult questions. Give it time. Love your friends enough to give them the coaching they need. Let yourself be loved to accept the same.
Just because you are one, doesn’t mean that you cannot cast a positive and lasting impression on the lives of many others. Doing the right thing may single you out. It might be uncomfortable. But it is the right thing. And it will come back to you in ways you never imagined.
Just because you didn’t get to where you thought you would go, doesn’t mean that your destination has been determined. Where you go is your choice, how you get there may not be. Some journeys are straight lines. Some have detours. Some have to start all over again. No matter. You are only given the tests that you can handle. Whatever journey you happen to be on – stick with it. You will get there.
Just because we expect more from you than you think you can possibly deliver doesn’t mean we are being “mean”. Quite the opposite. We were once where you are now. Time has blessed us with experience and wisdom; tools that will help build you into becoming what you were intended to be. “Hear” what we are saying, but “listen” as to why we are saying it.
Just because we “call you out” by name or number during a practice, game or in civilian life doesn’t mean we are picking on you. We think you need to hear it, we think you can handle it, and we love you enough to do it.
Just because some of you are all growed up, and will be playing on much bigger fields for much bigger things doesn’t mean that we are no longer your “coach”. Don’t be a stranger. We still think about you. We only want what’s best for you. We will always support you. You will always be more to us than a position or a number on a roster.
No matter what.