The Bull’s Eye Is On Student Athletes
Sometimes, being a high school student athlete is not all fun and games; there is a certain segment of the population that hates high school ball players.
Student athletes walk around every day with this added pressure because of who they are and what they represent.
The haters are out there doing whatever they can to destroy any level of success a student athlete may achieve.
Why, you may ask?
Because we glorify athletes to the point where we call them heroes and because we’re constantly praising them for playing a kids game.
Everyone pays attention to what a high school student athlete is doing during games and as they move throughout the high school campus on a daily basis. No one is paying attention to the average student who is working just as hard to achieve some level of success.
Every move a student athlete makes they’re constantly being watched for doing something good or something bad that the haters hope will happen.
Because of this, student athletes are constantly walking around as though they are moving targets, having to constantly protect themselves against the haters that they know exist and the mid-level haters that they’re not real sure of.
Just because you’re a high school athlete and you’re talented and popular and you seem to have it all going on, there is always going to be a group of individuals who are waiting for that moment when you slip up. Even if student athletes don’t make mistakes, there is still that group who will try to do something to force a student athlete into making a critical mistake.
A student athlete could be provoked into bad situations just because they play sports and the haters want to see them fail.
How many times have we heard stories about a student athlete getting into trouble? Maybe it was a fight during school hours or an after school event?
Those things do not happen by accident. There are sometimes circumstances that push a student athlete to the point of them reacting after being provoked by a jealous student.
Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that someone would hate you so much just because you play a sport.
The reality is: haters do exist to a point where I believe that student athletes should only associate themselves with other student athletes.
So-called outsiders who do not play sports have no real understanding what it’s like to have the added pressure of being a high school student and a high school student athlete.
There are hundreds of stories every year across the country where student athletes have been hurt or injured or suspended from school and even, in some unbelievable situations, killed just because they are athletes.
Sometimes we pay attention to the stories and sometimes we may think it’s just another bad ass kid who plays sports getting into trouble. I believe we need to look beyond the fact that it’s athletes and look at why trouble sometimes finds high school student athletes.
High School Student Athletes Need To Be Cautious
It is a privilege to be a high school athlete. No one gives you that title; it is something earned. Student athletes are always in the spotlight, so they have to be cautious of those whom the light does not shine brightly on.
We all know that extremely talented high school athletes are going to end up in college on scholarship or receive a strong financial package either way, they’re going to college.
The non-student athlete may not be as lucky. Those individuals who are just high school students are going to graduate from high school but may not have a clear future that has already been mapped out years in advance.
High school student athletes need to watch out for comments like, “You think you’re better than me?!” from those non-athletic types. It may seem like a harmless comment to make but it can grow into a serious problem if high school players are not cautious.
The reason student athletes need to be cautious of others is because they’re not looking out for your best interests.
Why is that so?
Student athletes are the life of the party and bring attention to everything they touch. For example, student athletes find it easier for them to get a date because they’re the star athlete. It is perceived that because student athletes play a sport, they are more popular and are given certain advantages over a student who is doing whatever they can to get by.
In some situations, there may be some truth to that. I’ve heard of situations where student athletes received a higher letter grade just because they did well in last week’s game.
The average everyday student is really not going to know if a student athlete is receiving special privileges or not; as long as it’s believed that they are getting special privilege then that’s the problem.
So, I guess at this point, jealousy builds up towards the student athlete now and the student athlete, more than likely, is just going about their business of trying to be an outstanding student in the classroom and be able to perform extremely well athletically.
It’s just important for student athletes to understand that everyone is not going to be their friend just because they play sports.
Call me crazy, but I just believe that student athletes should stick together and stay together because they are the only ones who truly respect one another and understand what it’s like to be a student athlete.
All others, in my opinion, are outsiders who cannot join the club and therefore should be kept more than an arm’s length away.
The Bull’s-eye on the Backs of Student Athletes Grows Larger When They Become More Successful
As a high school student athlete becomes more successful, the bull’s-eye on their back grows larger. All eyes are on them and more attention seems to become the norm for the successful student athlete.
If the student athlete has a great game, everyone’s going to know about it, everyone will be talking about it, and there’ll be a lot of media coverage.
There will be a lot of attention along with the attention of college recruiters. We should be happy for the successful student athlete but, the sick minds of some individuals will not let a them enjoy the success they have achieved through their hard work and dedication to their sport.
Parents should keep a closer eye on their student athlete; they now need their parent’s protection. Crazy and ridiculous as this may sound, there are individuals out there who would love nothing better than to see your son’s or daughter’s athletic career destroyed.
I believe high school student athletes who achieve a high level of success are ultimately going to end up in college or be a hot commodity and a prize possession for someone else. Not everyone is going to get a scholarship. Not every high school student will be going to college. Some high school students may not even graduate from high school and some high school students may not have a future at all.
Because of this, the bull’s-eye on the back of student athletes grows larger and larger as a student athlete runs the course of their senior year in high school. I’ve read stories about how some jealous idiots out there took the life of a successful and popular high school student athlete.
It could’ve been a situation where many of the students were at a party and someone said something which led to all hell breaking loose, leading to the death of that student athlete just because they played their sport.
It was a story about a top level high school football player and he was hanging with the wrong crowd. The other guys decided they wanted to rob someone and the robbery went wrong, and the guy these thugs were trying to rob ended up getting killed.
Everyone who was involved, along with that football player, was charged with murder.
So, how is it possible that an All-state football player who is being offered major college scholarships ended up in a situation like that?
Now, in a situation like that you could say it was the football player’s fault for hanging with the wrong crowd. You could say he may have felt some peer pressure to hang out with those guys.
Because the bull’s-eye gets bigger and bigger on the backs of high school student athletes; they are targets for all types of situations. They can be pulled into criminal activity or set up to where they are a victim of violence.
Kids will be kids and sometimes they do dumb and foolish things.
A female student could make an allegation towards a male student athlete which could result in that male athlete losing his scholarship just for playing around and being silly. Then later it comes out that it was all a big mistake, the female student made it all up but the damage has been done.
The point that I’m trying to make is that student athletes, because of who they are, are targets and can be, at times, manipulated into bad behavior. High school student athletes need to be careful because of who they are and the direction their lives are headed.
The life of the student athlete moving closer and closer to a college scholarship needs to have the full support of their family to protect them from the haters that could ultimately surround them and destroyed them.
The bull’s-eye Becomes Larger in College
Through hard work and determination, the high school student athletes have reached their destinations of a full scholarship opportunity.
By achieving this life-long dream of playing their sport in college, the bull’s-eye on the back of student athletes has now become enormous because everyone in the community knows the student athletes have reached the college level.
Keep in mind, there are those high school students who are still left behind in their communities. Many weren’t part of any team, club or social activity of any kind.
In high school it’s somewhat a level playing field but after graduation, everything changes; the reality of life starts to become a serious day to day struggle for those high school students who have nothing to look forward to.
Sure, there are some students who are going off to college and many others may find other positive activities to take part in as they build their future. But there is always going to be a significant segment of the senior class who will end up doing absolutely nothing.
When this celebrated high school sports star goes off to college, it is all positive, it is all about success, it is all about getting an education and, it’s all about building a strong future. That is what the positive message of being a college student athlete is all about.
What happens is when that celebrated athlete returns home on a break from school or summer vacation, the haters who have not moved on to anything significant or positive in their lives are now looking for an opportunity to bring down that celebrated sports star.
The thinking, in the minds of the sick haters, is: “If I can’t have a successful life, you can’t either.”
These haters could be an old girlfriend who was left behind and now has bitterness in her heart or some haters could be former classmates who never really liked you anyway and are looking for an opportunity to destroy your life. Whoever these people are they need to be avoided whether they present a danger physically to you are not.
There are many stories every year in the newspapers and on TV about a highly successful college player who returns home sporting athletic gear of their college or university.
The haters are so stupid anyway and are carrying their own personal rage and anger, they will attempt to bring harm to that successful college player in one form or another.
You hear it all the time, “So and so from state university was killed in a shooting!” Or, “Former high school star standout returning home on break was murdered.” Then when you find out who has committed the crime, more often than not, it was a former high school classmate.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic about high school and college athletes having a bull’s-eye on their back but, the point I’m trying to make is because you’re a high school athlete everyone is not going to be your friend. Half the people love you and support you and the other half want to see you fail and fall back down to their level.
In my opinion, it is best for high school student athletes to associate with members of their own team or other high school athletes who understand what it’s like to be an athlete. All others are outsiders and they will never be able to appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that all high school athletes make trying their best to reach college.