When Your Time In Sports Is Over

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The “end” is different for every athlete. For me, the final moment was in football. I was a high school senior and we had a game against our archrivals. 

Courtesy: Mi Prep Zone

There’s one aspect of sports competition that hardly anyone ever mentions. It’s when your time in sports is over. No matter how good you were, every athlete knows–deep down–that it will all come to an end. It may come at 18 or even earlier. It may come at age thirty-five or even later. The only thing is that it will end.

Was it about the journey? The destination? Did you win championships? Individual awards? Did you work well with a team? Can you look into the eyes of teammates and say you gave it everything you had?

Did what sports learnings translate into other dimensions of your life? Do you feel that you’re “a winner,” no matter what the scoreboard said?

Did you hang out with teammates? Can you remember what happened at banquets and awards dinners? Did you feel pride when others won awards? Were your teammates proud of you?

I remember the final moment in football. I was a high school senior and we had a game against our archrivals. We won that game, and as I walked up to the tunnel I turned to look at the field and at the stands one last time. I felt a  sudden rush of memories–from middle school to that moment.

Every athlete knows “that day” will come. I do.

The bus was silent on the way back to the field house. When we got there, our head coach made a grand speech to the seniors. He shook each of our hands. He told us how proud he was.

The “end” is different for every athlete. What I remember most is this: what I learned from sports and how much I loved and protected my teammates. To this day ….


About Matthew Paris

I grew up an avid Houston sports fan. After graduating from Texas Tech University in Theater and English Literature I worked as a marketing rep and coach for I9 Sports, coaching baseball, flag football, soccer, and basketball. I’m currently with Austin Sports Academy as a marketing coordinator, baseball and football coach, and coordinator of middle school and high school open play nights. I’ve written three short films for Looknow Productions and have also written articles on film marketing, producing, and directing. I really enjoy writing about sports and being an active contributor to The Sports Column.

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