Sports Column: It’s about the journey, not the desination

Published 9:30 am Monday, March 13, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

With time, all wounds heal. However, most wounds leave scars as a constant reminder. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in Spain Park’s Final Four post-conference game. The players held their heads high as their senior season came to an emotional end, and their coach tried to find the words to describe the rollercoaster of the season these players had endured. Throughout the entire interview, one thing really stuck with me.

Over the past several months, I’ve heard many inspirational speeches and pep talks from countless coaches. They clearly do the job since so many of the teams in Shelby County are the best in the state to the best in the nation. However, it was Spain Park’s head coach Chris Laatsch interview that really resonated with me.

“It’s the journey we talked about all the time,” Laatsch said. “The seasons, not a destination. One team’s going to walk out of there happy and it’s about the journey.

At the beginning of the season, each team and player talk about their ultimate goal of making it to the final round of the State Championship, and as I previously stated, most of the teams in Shelby County go well into the postseason. However, it is important to recognize the season rather than the final game.

Like most players and coaches, I always look back on that one game and think about what I could have done differently. Over time, that voice begins to drown out and you remember all the good moments from your time as a player and a coach.

It doesn’t matter if it was the Final Four or the State Championship or even the big rivalry game, they are all just games. It’s about the journey that got the team to the end in the first place. A movie wouldn’t be very good without exposition, would it?

Something my friends and I always say is “do it for the plot of the film.” We say that because we don’t know where life is going to take us, but the story that you will get out of the journey is worth more than the destination. The season is much more than the championship game, it’s a season well spent with your teammates that define a person, not a game.