Love of a Game

Love+of+a+Game

Abbey Lovat, Sports Editor

No matter how many hours of workouts, practices, film or scouting an athlete puts in, it all means nothing without heart. Athletes with heart are motivated to win.

Heart in an athlete is competitiveness, toughness, and persistence. Heart is what keeps a player sprinting at full speed in the fourth quarter though he or she is exhausted and sore. It prevents athletes from surrendering too quickly and pushes them to persevere. Heart is passion for playing and learning a sport. Without it, games would be meaningless and unexciting.

Not only is this an internal struggle, but it also becomes apparent depending on how athletes respond in different situations. One measure of a champion is a craving for criticism. Any feedback that can help an athlete improve is sought out. Winners realize that criticism is not a personal attack, rather it is commentary said with your best interests in mind.

“Being a champion takes many hardworking hours, a positive mindset, and an attitude of never giving up,” said senior Taylor Steffl, who has been a part of the four-straight Mercy swim and dive state championship team.

Heart is a quality so necessary in athletic competitions, yet it is un-coachable. Heart is a drive from within. It cannot be initialized through inception, rather we, ourselves, must feel this desire, this need for perfection and success.

The unspoken, often unaddressed, characteristic of a champion lies in the hands of the athlete. To be a champion, one must think like a champion, and all champions, regardless of which sport, have heart.

“We wouldn’t be in the place we are today if we didn’t have heart,” said senior swimmer Emma Craig.