Savor the moments


A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with high school journalism students about the dreaded “We’re a family” quote that often pops up in athletics.

The students told me the phrase is banned in their yearbook because of  overuse and  fear of playing into a cliché. From my position of minimal expertise, I told them not to immediately dismiss the idea of family.

Almost every team I speak with ends up describing themselves as a family before the season is over. There isn’t anything wrong with that.

They are bonded, they have a unified goal and they all spend a majority of their time together. They aren’t making up the feeling.

When I spoke to the president of the archery club this week, she said the members of the club are like “a little family.”

These students aren’t spending every day together in practice, and they aren’t traveling miles together to compete.

They have meetings bi-weekly for an hour. But they have bonded over this sport together. They have all found a connection in it and a reason to return when the next meeting rolls around.

One of my favorite parts about sports, and the part I most often defend, is the ability for it to connect to people on a human level. There is more to sports than wins and losses.

Whether it is from the court, sideline or stands, lessons come from sports.

During a men’s basketball game, right before the end of the first half, head coach Rodney Watson looked at junior guard Bobo Drummond and said, “Wait until five (seconds) and go hard.”

It was a little bit of strategy while also showing trust in Drummond’s ability and leadership.

That small phrase gave a glimpse into the bond between coach and player. They give advice and provide strategy, but they have to trust the player to play.

During the senior night game, there was a glimpse into that same bond. The same way every senior night opens that door.

Those nights are charged with excitement, both for the team’s individual players and their families.

The theme may be overplayed, but it matters. It shows parts of the team that don’t receive a focus on an average day. While it happens every year, it happens to different people every year. Different people with different stories.

If you connect sports to human moments, it adds an impact that truly matters to people.

Whether in sports,  sports coverage or  life in general, don’t shy away from moments because they seem overplayed.

If you ignore them, people end up missing moments that matter for fear that they shouldn’t.