“If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.” -Buddhist Saying
I remember my first year of little-league football and baseball. I forget the name of the teams but I will never forget the memories. In football, I quit almost every other day. It didn’t make sense to me to keep running into other players, hurting them and yourself. I remember running with those pads on in the hot sun….in my little mind, I was thinking this is for the birds. So, I quit…almost every other day.
What keep me going back? My mom was indifferent and my dad, he didn’t live in the state at the time and had no direct influence on my growth and maturation as an athlete or as a young man.
It was the coaches. They saw something in me. I was one of the best players on the team. So everyday that I quit, they would come by and try to convince me to come back. From this experience something resonate with me. I had a sense of consciousness at this young age. I somehow knew that my playing football for them was less about me and more about them. I had no real connection to the team nor the sport. I played because I could, I played because it was something that I was fairly good at without exerting much effort.
In baseball, it was different. I enjoyed playing the game and I still do. I was a natural talent. I remember the league stopped giving the golden-glove award the 1st year that I played but it was rumored that either me or a close friend, would have won the award. However, after the regular baseball season, was the coveted All-Stars. You had to be selected to the All-Star team by the league and coaches as one of the best players. I am proud to say that I made the All-Star team every year that I played.
One of the many great character builders that young men develop in playing organized sports, is brotherhood and team work.
Excerpt from the book “STAND” a memoir by Gary Hartfield, coming soon to Amazon…
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