Spring is best known for the return of life, warmth and beauty but it also gives something else back to the world: outdoor sports. The seasons of soccer, track, baseball, softball and tennis have arrived. The sun is back, the grass is green and the games are about to begin.
Athletes everywhere are dusting off their water bottles and breaking out the short sleeved shirts.
Practice is in full swing and the players will be pushing themselves to the breaking point.
Sports play a vital role in any athlete's life and they come with several advantages, but few people realize what athletes and coaches put themselves through.
A sport is not always just a pastime or a simple exercise routine. Sure, it provides teens a way to dispel their never-ending energy and is a great form of physical activity, but that's not what sports always are about. Sports are a commitment that require every last ounce of effort.
Next time you feel drained after a long day of school or work, just think about the athletes who have another two to three hours of hard work lying ahead of them.
The sports that are in season right now demand speed and agility.
This means that the players will be working on those aspects of the sport, which is not exactly easy.
Imagine yourself running sprints on a soft grassy field. Visualize yourself darting from side to side of a tennis court and trying to return little yellow balls that are being hit at you. See yourself running the bases over and over again. Picture yourself running a mile for a warm-up and then continually racing other people for two hours. Sounds tiring doesn't it? That's what these athletes do every day.
The athletes are the heart of sports but they aren't the only important part. The coaches are the brains behind the brawn.
The coaches are not only responsible for training and directing the team, they also have the burden of the compiling plays for the team to run, planning practices, deciding who goes in the game and when, making sure everyone shows up and dealing with parents. Coaches work twice as hard as any player out on the field.
Though spring is about pretty flowers, warm rays of sunlight and returning life, it also holds the essence of the sports season. In spring, athletes notice the beauty but they also have their own: the beauty of the sport.
Thompson is an eighth grade student at Hughesville Middle School. Her column will be published on the second Monday of each month in the Education section. She can be reached at educa firstname.lastname@example.org.