Having resolve doesn’t require a resolution
It’s a new year. 2013.
I suppose a lot of you do “New Year’s Resolutions.” I don’t. It’s OK if you do the resolution thing once a year, but only if you follow through on it.
Oh, I suppose I made a resolution last year but it had nothing to do with the New Year. I resolved to eat more Benton’s Bacon and I’ve kept that promise. Two pieces of Alan Benton’s finest can be found on my plate every Sunday morning.
I do sit back and reflect on things this time of year. I want to make sure that I am always the kind of man that those around me need for me to be. I want to make sure I am fulfilling my responsibilities to others. I want to always be on a path to make a difference in the world around me.
I’m far from perfect. I have my prejudices (not the typical ones) and I do know that I take things too seriously most of the time. I have really tried to laugh more. I’m not real patient and I tend to be too one-way about too many things.
I resolved long ago not to give unsolicited advice but I suppose that this column violates the very being of that resolution. Not everybody wants or needs advice, and I have to work hard to remember that. I guess, though, that when you get to a certain age, people presume that you have a certain level of wisdom and will turn to you.
Anyway, I do find myself being asked for advice on a regular basis. The first person to ask me about marital advice was probably Jeff Fuchs, back when I probably didn’t have much to offer him. My advice? It’s never 50-50. I’ve repeated that one many times in the years since and it is still very true.
I remember the advice that I got, that a couple should never go to bed angry. I suppose my wife of 36 years and I tried to do that at one time in our marriage but it resulted in too many really late nights and then one of us saying “fine” (and you know the kind of “fine” I mean) and heading off to bed without anything being resolved.
High school athletes ask for my advice on a regular basis. Some of it is personal, things that they can’t or won’t ask their parents. I approach those questions cautiously and with the gravity they deserve.
It makes sense that most of the time they want to know about their injury. After all, that’s my job. Here lately, I’ve had a couple of football players want to know what I think about college football. I suppose part of that is experience that they expect I’ve had with my son, who played a little college football along the way.
Most recently, it was “should I take that scholarship offer (to a smaller school) or take that preferred walk-on offer (at a bigger school).” I know that there are a lot of successful walk-on stories but please understand that those stories are rare.
My advice is almost always to go to the school that wants you bad enough to offer you a scholarship. If the big school really thought that you could play for them, they would pay for it. Too many people, particularly in this part of the country, believe that if you don’t play for an SEC school, that it really isn’t college football.
That’s a mistake.
There’s a heck of a lot of great football out there that is not played in front of tens of thousands of people. Great traditions and great programs can be found everywhere.
You don’t think that Maryville College plays “real” college football? Go see them play sometime. It will change your mind.
Keep in mind, college sports are going to be more of a job than high school sports, where you’re coached by folks that probably have known you since you were little and who are probably more interested in making sure that you grow up into a responsible adult than winning any given game.
But at the end of the day, it is definitely worth it. Stick it out past your freshman year (when you WILL want to come home or quit or both) and you will learn skills, develop friendships, and grow as a person more than you ever would have without sports.
Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Write to him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)