Let the games begin


This week marks the beginning of a new season of winter sports. From basketball to wrestling to swimming, there will be a wide variety of sporting events around the county, showcasing the skills of the area’s young men and women.

Excitement is high among the athletes and their coaches as the events get underway. Regardless of past successes or failures, the start of another season always brings with it a new beginning, a clean slate where most anything can happen.

Of course, the start of the season also means the young athletes will be putting in a lot of work, whether they are newcomers trying a sport for the first time or seasoned veterans eager to pick up where they left off at the end of last season. A student athlete’s success is usually pretty proportional to the amount of hard work they are willing to put in during practices and competitions.

But it also takes serious effort on the part of the coaches to pull a team together, and we have witnessed first hand on multiple occasions what a positive influence these coaches can have on the young people they work with. We seriously doubt any of these coaches are in it for the money. In fact, if you were to calculate an hourly rate for all the time they put in with the kids, the pay is next to nothing. No, it is truly an act of love for the bulk of Lincoln County’s coaches — a love of the sport and a love of helping young people become the best they can be.

What some people may not realize is that these young athletes are learning much more than the skills and fundamentals of the sports they are involved with. They are also learning lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. They are learning the value of hard work and that, despite their best efforts, things don’t always go the way they would like.

Sure, everybody likes to win. But the key in sports, and in life, is learning how to carry on when you’ve suffered a defeat. It happens, but success comes to those who learn to pick themselves up and move forward; it’s about developing character. We appreciate our coaches who help to instill those qualities in the athletes they oversee. It truly can be life changing for the young people and incredibly satisfying for the coaches themselves.

We encourage you to check out one of the winter sports events getting underway this week — there are ample opportunities. Maybe you don’t have children involved or even know any of the athletes competing, but even so, the events can be exciting, and the dedication displayed by the young people during competitions can be inspirational. Also, they simply deserve our support.

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