Many college athletes go through a redshirt year at college. It is a year of putting forth much effort gaining speed and strength to become more prepared to compete at the college level.
It is a difficult year for various reasons, one of them being that many college players are accustomed to being a starter or even a star player in high school. Suddenly, they are just one of many stars waiting for their time to get an opportunity to shine. Another reason “redshirting” is difficult is that they are expected to continue a strenuous training program without seemingly seeing the benefits that the other players experience. Even though they are a part of the team, they are a unique part of the team. It takes an extra amount of perseverance and persistence to keep envisioning the future beyond that year in a positive light. Many players enter college knowing that they may not see the field until their third or fourth year.
I remember overhearing a conversation between two high school athletes, both starters on their successful basketball team. They were talking about how their team would have never had the season they had were it not for the scout squad at practice. They were very complimentary of the talent of their teammates and were grateful for the caliber of competition they provided at practice. They realized the all-out effort of the second string forced the starters to put in harder work, and therefore the entire team benefitted.
If you are a redshirt or a role player, you are going to receive reactions different from what the star players receive. It can be an exercise in humility. It can also be a time to reflect as to why you are playing college sports. If it is for the fame or the feeling of importance, then it may be time to rethink your motivation! If you keep reminding yourself that you are competing for an Audience of One and that your wholehearted effort as a redshirt, role player, or as a star player—whatever the case may be—makes a positive difference to the entire makeup of the team, you will definitely be practicing and playing with a Christlike mindset.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dear Lord, every team is composed of players with different skill sets and contributions. Lord, I want to be ready physically and mentally to fill any role that the coaches ask me to. Help me be prepared to be an asset to the team; to assist in functioning at its highest potential no matter what contribution I am expected to make. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.