Being a student-athlete, meant being a STUDENT first!

Although I’m sure I learned a lot about the game football (and developed much as a person and a player between second and sixth grade), it wasn’t until seventh grade, that I learned one of the greatest lessons of all…

The way I see it, when it comes to discipline, there are two types of parents;  Those who give “empty” threats, and those who don’t. I was definitely blessed with parents that we’re not only involved in allI did as a child, but followed through with discipline, and “threats” for any inappropriate behaviors. 

That being said, looking back on this particular event in my life, I have no idea as to why I didn’t believe my father, when he told me that if I didn’t get my grades up, I wasn’t going to play football during my eighth grade season, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t.

I remember him telling me that if one of my D’s didn’t get brought up to at least a C, I was not going to play, but I spent more time with my friends, then I did with my studies.  So much so, that not only did I no longer have a D, but at the end of the fourth quarter of my seventh grade year, that D had dropped down to an F. And even still, I simply couldn’t imagine him pulling me from the one thing I love the most.

Fast forward to the middle of the summer before my eighth-grade year, when I remember sitting in my bedroom waiting for my father to come down the hall to tell me was time to go to sign-ups.  I knew my friends would be attending, and I certainly didn’t want to be late. When the 11th hour had come, I remember going down to the family room where he was sitting, and telling him if we didn’t go, we would be late.

My father followed through with what he had told me several months earlier, and I didn’t play football my eighth-grade year.  To say I was devastated, would be an understatement. In fact, at the time, I thought I hated my father, and couldn’t understand how someone who supposedly loved me, could do this to me. 

I remember sitting my in my room for hours, and crying like I had never cried before.  As I remember it, it took several weeks for me to no longer be angry at my father, and each game that I would go to, to support my friends, there would be a burning inside I couldn’t explain. 

It wasn’t until several months after the season was over, that I finally understood the importance of my father had been trying to teach me all along; being a student-athlete, meant being a STUDENT first!

By Coach Kurt Hines E:

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