I would like to say that I’m a person who is always about my business, but this is particularly true when basketball season rolls around. In October we start pre-season, an opportunity for everyone on the team to show the coaches why they deserve a starting spot. This time of year is quite taxing because everyone is working hard physically and mentally on the court, while trying to excel academically as well.
It’s safe to say that for most and for me in particular, if I’m not on the court I’m studying and if I’m not studying I’m sleeping. I’m doing everything possible to put myself in a position to get a starting spot and most of the time that means cutting out many social events.
From the beginning of the season I cut out partying and many social events with my friends because it wasn’t conducive to me achieving my ultimate goal, starting. This is not to say that partying is the only way to socialize; there were a fair amount of kickbacks, movie nights, dinners that I could have attended but decided otherwise.
Any athlete, current or retired, knows how draining a season can be and how important it is to rest when you get the chance. If you are really about your business, all you want to do is rest to get ready for the next practice, your next opportunity to shine, and I was about my business.
But here I am six months later and the season is over; I’m back to having a little more time on my hands and while we are working and building for next season I have the opportunity to put the breaks on basketball and get back to my old ways.
This is where my problem lies. After neglecting many of my friends for half a year and eating, sleeping, and breathing basketball, trying to get back in the swing of things is no simple task.
What is being social? I haven’t done it in months.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to be social and I found myself asking so many questions. Do I even know how to do this anymore? Am I doing this right? Is socializing supposed to be this tiring?
This caused me to realize just how much I give up for basketball. While it is what pays my education in college and I am thankful for that, I realized that it does in many ways define my college career. I’ve never had so many people come up to me and say, “Hey Sydney, where have you been?”
The season really did steer me away from many things and people that I wanted to connect with. As much as I love basketball, it has caused me to put the majority of my college life on hold for extended periods of time, ultimately allowing me to feel detached from the college social world that I love so much.
If I had to do it all over again, which I will, I’m only a sophomore, I can’t say I wouldn’t change too much. I’m still going to lock in and fight for a starting spot and I’m still going to limit the amount of social events I attend because I have to stay focused and rest. But if I could change one thing, I would try and take advantage of other opportunities to be around my friends; visit them at home, support them in their extracurriculars and clubs and attend more dinners with them.
I have learned that as much as I want to focus on my season and be successful, there are healthier ways to go about it. It’s not so much about cutting things out of your life, its about finding balance in your life whether that be athletically, academically or socially.
Have a great week!