Inspiration abounds while interviewing high school athletes / Sports Notes

There’s nothing like picking someone’s brain and gaining a shot of inspiration to push you through the day.

When I meet with high school athletes to write feature stories, I tag on a few personal questions at the close of interviews to get a glimpse into their lives away from the sports fields. It can be challenging for them when I put them on the spot, but I’ve found that — like on the field — they rise to the occasion and deliver some insightful and interesting answers. In some cases, it’s as if they were waiting for the opportunity to reveal bits and pieces about themselves.

Letting others into our personal spaces is not always high on the docket each day, but it can be a blessing in disguise to loosen up and let our thoughts fly. The answers may be goofy or serious, but it’s good to give it a shot and see where it goes. Maybe someone reading the article can relate to the athletes’ stories and inspire them in some facet of their life. Maybe they’ll make a difference in someone’s life without even knowing it. Great things come in all forms.

Some of the questions range from, “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?” to “What do you appreciate the most in life?” to “What special skill would you like to learn?” Some of the questions are easy to answer and some take a lot of extra thought, but that’s exactly the point. Take up the challenge and put yourself out there. It’s all about growing and learning about ourselves and others each day.

I’ve found myself walking away from these interviews with a new perspective on certain topics and shaking my head with laughter over a silly answer that was brilliant in my mind.

I look forward to these chats and am constantly amazed and appreciative at what solid and thoughtful student-athletes we have among us.

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