Arts & Life Editor Emily Fuller guides athletes through a weekend of competing
Dear SPC Bound Athlete,
As each of your respective teams narrows in on the final weeks of your season, most everyone has their minds set on the Southwest Preparatory Conference tournament, planned for the weekend of May 3 in Dallas. In the coming weeks, parents will be pulling out their buttons, friends will be making signs and teams will be mentally preparing themselves. Whether it is your first SPC tournament or your 12th, each time there is pressure. As someone who has competed in eight SPC tournaments, here’s my advice to you.
Go all out. After how hard you have all worked this entire season, why not give it everything you have one last time. Every year I forget how taxing it is on my body to play three games in a weekend at full speed, but you are going to want to give it everything you have. It is best to walk away from the weekend knowing the win was meant for another team than to regret the effort you put in. Do not hold anything back. You can push yourself harder than you can imagine, so do not sell yourself or your team short.
You are going to have a great time no matter what. You never know how the games will go or what result you will walk away with, but there is so much to love about SPC. Fellow athletes cheering each other on, competing against our biggest rival schools and spending a whole weekend with team you love. My favorite memories from SPC come from the fields, sidelines, bus rides and hotel lobbies, so enjoy each moment with your team!
Go in with an open mind. While I played goalkeeper on Hockaday soccer all of Upper School, in the final few minutes of the second half of my last game against ESD on Feb. 17, I ended up at forward, the ball ended up at my feet and I ended up earning my team the necessary goal we needed to win. I truly could not have foreseen this move, but I hope that goes to show that you should never assume what you can bring to your team.
You will realize the team is something bigger than yourself. Our third place finish in soccer made me realize that it’s not always about what the team does but rather who the team is. I saw the soccer team prove to each other that we were a group of individuals who were there to support one another no matter the outcome. The feeling walking away from SPC with such high team spirit was sweeter than any trophy.
You are representing your school. Although some Hockaday sports do not even always practice on campus, it is important to remember we have a responsibility to uphold the Four Cornerstones before, during and after we compete. In my experience, emotions are high during the tournament, and at times I wanted to act out of anger or frustration. However, every time I see the eight letters across my teammates jerseys, I am reminded of why I love playing the sport and have a good attitude above all else.
Your teammates are what you will remember. Whether you are a Freshman or a Senior, key veteran or new to the sport, your teammates are going to remember your attitude, your signing on the bus and how hard you fought. Your teammates will be the ones that make or break the end to your season, and you are going to impact your teammates season’s. With this spring SPC being my last tournament, I am incredibly sad to leave the teammates and coaches behind, but I am grateful for the time that we dedicated to building a team that can compete at SPC regardless of how well we do.
Story by Emily Fuller
Photo provided by Alexa May