• 59°

There’s more to life after graduation

It’s graduation season and for many athletes, this marks the end of their athletic careers.

Many students in the Greater Valley Area are multi-sport athletes if they attend smaller schools, so the norm for them to this point in their lives has been to be active year-round with a consistently full schedule. Life after high school can be very different, however.

Whether the next step is college, a full-time job or joining the armed forces, there’s much more free time to a schedule than what used to be set in place for some of these athletes. It is imperative that this newfound free time is used wisely. With the time, a new hobby could be discovered, you can learn or explore more, or develop a new craft to eventually share with the rest of the world.

Too many times we have seen young adults who are full of potential fallen into complacency, satisfied with achieving their own version of mediocrity. Various student-athletes who have poured every ounce into becoming the best player they can become settle for less than their best in different situations in life after the first time their dream has been denied.

Understand that as a student-athlete, the game will always come to an end. Whether it ends in rec ball, AAU, middle school, high school, college or the professional level, the game always ends. The ball always stops bouncing, eventually.

The important part is how you respond to life after the game ends for you. The same effort and hours you put into sports can go into the other fields of life that are needed. Everyone couldn’t be an athlete like you were, the dedication and discipline required is substantial, so don’t believe that you can’t expand to anything beyond the court, course, field, or wrestling mat.

Work hard for your next dream and after your first time being denied, don’t stop. The reward will be greater than it otherwise would have been.

Athletes must understand the special gift of hard work and perseverance they picked up in their careers and have to apply that to everything else in life.