Senior quarterback Dane Leituala addresses his crew after apply Wednesday afternoon. He is flanked through the different Taylorsville soccer captains.
Sometimes the affection is palpable.
Like when Taylorsville quarterback Dane Leituala makes positive they proportion the burden and praise of a fundraiser, or when Riverton cross-country runner Joey Nokes, breathless from profitable the Highland Invitational, mentioned the reason why he pushes himself via the game’s maximum difficult facets is for the guys and women who undergo with him.
Sometimes, it presentations up in a thanks or a praise, like when Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley takes the time to thank tight finish Jake Jackson for the best block.
Most of the time, on the other hand, it manifests itself via good-natured teasing, like when the Granger soccer avid gamers attempt to make every different snort all through an interview.
But whether or not it’s a highschool cross-country crew that most of the people don’t take note of, or a school athlete lucky sufficient to make all the necessary preseason watch lists, the maximum intriguing facet of watching those athletes from the sideline isn’t marveling at what they may be able to do with their athletic presents.
It’s being fortunate sufficient to look at the method they sacrifice, handle and raise those who sweat along them.
Being a teammate is difficult.
It’s friendship, nevertheless it’s laced with festival. Most teammates are competing for time, consideration and alternatives. Therefore, this friendship may also be one in every of comfort. It may also be egocentric, riddled with jealousy, resentment or even sabotage.
Honestly, it’s extra commonplace to look other folks combat with in finding synchronicity with strangers, who simply occur to play the identical game they love. They struggled to create chemistry. They paintings on their skill to accept as true with every different.
And then there are the uncommon athletes.
They are proficient, however they are additionally assured sufficient to know the expression “A rising tide lifts all boats” — and maximum of the time they perceive this innately.
It is solely who they are.
They are beneficiant with reward, liberal with compliments. These competition have the ability to be their very best whilst bringing out the very best in people.
And they are, in my view, what makes sports so riveting, so transformative.
Yes, there are great particular person avid gamers. They galvanize us with their talent, with their talents and on occasion with their personalities. But it’s those avid gamers who in finding ordinary luck, and at the identical time, assist people accomplish greater than would had been conceivable on their very own, who make us yearn for our personal time on the box.
A few years in the past, a participant informed me that being a school athlete is so tricky, so tough, that if it wasn’t for his teammates, he would have give up. Not handiest did their friendship ease the demanding situations, however his affection for them made him wish to display up along with his very best effort each unmarried day.
It is a fact for many people that what we can’t do for ourselves, we will be able to do for any individual else. And when that individual is any individual who has sacrificed with and for us, that want will increase exponentially.
The very best groups have avid gamers locked in a cycle of generosity. They are no longer threatened through or jealous of a teammate’s luck. Somehow, once they in finding their method into this loving tide, they really feel the pleasure and pleasure of that luck as though it had been their very own.
And this dynamic is at play on fields, in gymnasiums and on cross-country lessons all throughout the state at this time. While we speak about the athletic feats of remarkable athletes and the implausible accomplishments of proficient folks, allow us to additionally celebrate the dynamic of being a great teammate.
Because whilst there are many abilities and attributes that may go beyond the box and assist athletes during their lives, none is extra important or extra important than the skill to sacrifice for others, to revel of their pleasure and to assist those round us see greatness in themselves.