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Love the players, even if you hate the game

The first two years of my high school career consisted of stressing over numerous projects and obnoxiously long memorizations. This, however, was broken up by reprieves of going to basketball, volleyball and track meets. The memory of throwing on face paint and screaming at the top of my lungs with my other classmates is one of my favorites from high school.

Once junior year rolled around, I rarely went to any sporting event the school had. Most of the people I knew on the teams had graduated, and I had lost the passion to come and support because I honestly didn’t care if they succeeded. I went to my friend’s volleyball games to support her, but after volleyball season ended, so did my desire to attend the games.

The only ORU sporting event I went to was a soccer game last August in which one of the girls on my wing played. I haven’t gone to a sports game since. However, I recently found that my roommate will be a chaplain on the basketball floor in Claudius next year. We both plan to be at every game we can attend.

Now, let’s be clear, I couldn’t care less about sports in their truest form. I don’t care who is going to lose to the Patriots this Super Bowl or what March Madness is. I care about seeing people I love have success in doing what they love.

The athletes I have interviewed this year have all said a similar thing: they hope to not come off as intimidating or unapproachable to other students. While the community between athletes is strong, most hope to make connections with people outside of the team.

Next semester, my roommate and I plan to be the embarrassing moms who show up to their kid’s game loaded with posters, face paint and chants to outrival any cheer team.

I encourage everyone to get to know an athlete and support them in doing what they love because uplifting passion is always worth the effort.