Since I was little I have been involved in sports. I’ve practiced a lot of sports. You name it I did it. Even though my life has always revolved around sports, I always paid attention to school and studying and I never allowed myself to have bad grades. But I always detested the prejudiced point of view of teachers towards athletes. Even without knowing anything about you, when they hear you are an athlete, they put you in the pile with the dumber, the less perspective people and etc. Usually you need to make a big effort to get yourself out of this frame, that is limiting you and stigmatizing you!
I never understood this separation. Why would sport make you dumber? Why would sport limit your intellectual development and send you on the pile of being less than others? You see me walk around school with a basketball and you assume that this is all I am capable of… just dribble around and probably score some points during a game? Do you think that this runs out my whole potential to be something, to become somebody?
For all of you, who have such opinion, I want to explain you what it means to be an athlete. You have the right to decide for yourself if it is appropriate to stigmatize athletes to be something less…
While you were hanging around with friends in order to kill some time, I was sprinting through my day, trying to finish every task on my busy schedule- school, workouts, lessons and games.
While you were sitting and playing video games, I was busting my ass off in the gym. I stayed with hours after every practice, working on my weaknesses!
While you were wondering how to spend your leisure time, I spent hours reading about my idols, looking for the key for their success, and trying to use it in my own life.
While you used to oversleep for school, every single morning, I was always up on time, because I knew what discipline and responsibility means!
While the only thing on your mind was alcohol and cigarettes, all I could think of, was basketball!
While you were belittling team work in class, I gave my all, no matter if somebody would notice it, because I knew what a team is. I knew that team success, is due to team work!
When you thought that not writing one homework or failing a test isn’t a big deal, I couldn’t allow it to myself, because I knew that success is like a house you build. Every action is a brick, which lays the foundations. Every missed brick, makes the house unstable… and thus, makes success temporary.
When you were disrespectful to your teachers, I could never treat them like that, because I knew that no matter if the teacher was right or wrong, to be a leader of so many people isn’t easy and everybody could make a mistake!
When you were making fun of your classmates, I couldn’t allow myself to do it, because I knew that a team is as strong as its weakest link. Thus, the class was as good as the worst student.
If I happened to have a bad grade, I didn’t blame it on my teacher, I was looking for the mistake in myself and I tried harder to be better the next time!
When I had straight A, I didn’t look down on others, because I knew that success is temporary. I knew that people you meet on the way to the top, are the same people you meet on the way down! That’s why it is better to respect them, because you never know when they will be the once helping you stand up!
What makes you think I am less than others, just because I am an athlete? What makes you think I am not as capable as others, just because I put my whole energy in one direction? Don’t stigmatize! Don’t place people in frames! Even if you don’t realize it, sometimes you are the once that limit other people’s progress, because you teach them since they are kids that they are less, that they are not good enough, not smart enough! And sometimes some people won’t question your words. They will make your words their own reality and he won’t be the only one to lose. We all lose a good, capable person!