Who am I outside of playing sports? From playing sports my whole life to becoming a spectator


Patrick Morehead | Special to Warrior Life

Playing sports was my whole childhood up until high school, which created the mindset for me to become a professional in sports. I always have dreamed of this, while always watching the pro-athletes on TV, growing up and looking up to them.

Playing sports as a young kid can have pros and cons. Whether it’s the unreal expectations, the pressure or having the time of your life with your teammates and friends while playing the sports you love. With all the success we can achieve at such an early age, we get the idea that we can do this forevor.

Beginning in high school is where you start to showcase your skills to future college coaches. I played football all four years of high school, but at the end of my senior year, I had to face the harsh reality that playing sports would not be my future.

My teammates and I reflected after the football season, wondering what will be next for us after the end of last season. These are the guys I have been with for the past four years, six days a week, practicing and working together. We had all played sports for as long as we can remember and now we were unsure what to focus on next.

There were so many summer workouts that filled my entire summer – being at practice for 8 hours, practicing and watching film, and preparing yourself the entire week for game day. I started to wonder what this was for. Why did I spend all this time in high school giving my time to something I will never do again in my life, feeling like I wasted my time?

Sports have always been my life, so transitioning from a student-athlete to a full-time student was extremely hard when I got to El Camino College. You are now the spectator, not the player. You have this dream that you have followed for 15 years and suddenly at 18 years old, you can’t fulfill it.

Having a conversation with my football coach made me realize that sports could offer something off the field as well. My coach instilled discipline in my teammates and me, and always showed us what was important outside of the football field. We never came to the realization while playing, only after, that playing sports all through your life gives the groundwork for your real dream.

My coach told me after the season, “If you are not fully 100 percent invested in it, why do it?” Hearing this solidified my decision on football. It made me content with not playing anymore while being happy about the time I had.

I felt lost after not playing sports for a while. Although playing football at El Camino was an option, after not playing for a while the option did not seem as intriguing. I felt like now was the time I could focus on school more and change my dream. Instead of chasing the dream I had my whole life I needed a new start in my life.

It was a tough time for me to have all this free time and getting into what is next after football. It is a whole different mindset after finishing your lifelong sport.

Transitioning my dream of playing sports to something I can do off the field made me question, what am I outside of football? I had to quickly transition myself to think what is next for me, but the whole time it was in front of me, sports. Whether you are playing or covering, I realized that I do not need to completely leave what I love the most.

I chose to study journalism in college because sports is still a part of me. It’s still what I love the most. I am always watching sports shows, reading articles and staying updated in that world.

I am always driven by sports and constantly keep up with the current news in all sports.

Covering sports is the new dream to chase.

Sports will be in my life forever, and while I can still play, outside of playing I can now shift to becoming the spectator while learning and studying journalism to cover what I still love the most.



Editor’s Note:

  • Headline was updated on Wednesday, June 7.