Why do sports matter? We don’t always have the same answer. Dear sports is a column that features different perspectives from Bethel on what sports mean to them. This week we hear from Maci Gavic on what sports mean to her. 

By Macie Gavic

When I was in tenth grade, our high school volleyball season would always open with a tournament called the Fall Classic. I remember our team was on break for a round so, with my checkerboard lunch-box in hand, I passed the time by watching another match. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first point of this particular game. 

Between a bite of a peanut-butter sandwich, I watched a black-jerseyed team’s outside hitter slam the ball right between a girl’s eyes on the team with blue jerseys. The ball hit this girl so hard that blood started trickling down her nose, dripping small dots on her pristine blue jersey while she fell back to the floor. I could hear a mix of gasps and cheers from the crowd around me, as expected from such an epic point.

Except the outside hitter was the only one not cheering.

I felt dumbstruck when this hitter ran under the net and started helping the bloody girl off the floor. She repeated over and over how sorry she was—how she didn’t mean to hit the blue-jerseyed girl’s nose. I remember my jaw dropping while watching this chick run-up to the other team, she must have been crazy. And I’m pretty sure blue girl’s teammates thought the same thing because they kept looking back and forth at each other completely confused. Bloody girl insisted it was fine, through cradling her nose, while the trainer ran over to help. 

Now when I think back, this event perfectly reflects why sports matter. Times where players are serving the first point, running the final lap or going in for a layup bring out a person’s true colors. It’s a pure adrenaline rush where there’s no time to think about anything except action. At the Fall Classic, the outside hitter was a teacher to all those around her because she didn’t have the time to think about whether it was okay to run under the net; she just reacted. 

Yesterday I was typing up a mock-resume for Web Design, and I’m amazed at how many skills I can attribute to sports. Schedule-management, organization, endurance, leadership, communication, keeping a level head in stressful situations; the list stretches beyond a one-page resume. I haven’t even gotten to the personal values yet—respect for others, kindness, and trust. These values didn’t come from a classroom. I was taught by the actions of my teammates and coaches. 

Sports not only paved the way for me to improve my athletic ability, but my morals as well—they’ve made me a better person. 

 

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