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Handling Your Best Athlete

I recall one such athlete. From an early age this athlete worked harder than all the rest. Not only did he have natural athletic ability, but he would always be the first one to practice and last one to leave. Later on in his career, he would help lead his team deep into the state championship tournament. Early on, however, he had nearly shut down as an athlete. Living in a small town, this athlete could not go anywhere without someone discussing his performance. Some in the community realized it was a high school sporting event and were nothing but encouraging. There were others in the community, however, who lived and died by what the high school team did on Friday night. The comments made by these people where less than encouraging. “Why didn’t you see this?” “Why did you do that?” “Freshmen shouldn’t play on the varsity!” It got to the point where the athlete began shutting down. You see he was already beating himself up about what he saw and what he didn’t, about what he did and didn’t do, and was very sensitive to the fact that he was a freshman playing on the varsity. He didn’t need those things pointed out to him. The coach was able to assist the athlete in such away that he was able to keep moving forward and eventually take the team to new heights.