To start, the student-athletes served their guests dinner, catered by Panda Express. One particular elder in attendance was softball coach, Wayne Hill, who was also the night’s guest speaker.
“I love sports; it helps you become a better person,” said Hill. “There’s so much you can learn from athletics, but what distinguishes people who are successful from those who are unsuccessful? I’ll tell you—stretch your comfort zone, be a good risk-taker and push yourself beyond those limits. When you’re able to push yourself beyond your limits, you’ll be a better athlete, resulting in a better person off the court or off the field. This is the same for life.” Hill continued, “But how do you do it? I’ll give you three things in order to do so: one, accept you’re less than perfect, because you’ll remain humble and grow from your mistakes.
Be crazy, and have fun! Number two, stop living in fear. What we want to do is prepare ourselves for when we come across a moment in the game we can play with confidence. If we don’t, then we don’t have the confidence when the game is on the line—we fear we will mess it up—so prepare for it. Number three, find a partner. Find someone that will help push you through all these things and help you imagine your success. Your brain is a wonderful thing. You can have the images placed in your head; your brain allows you to do so. A partner is going to help you when it gets hard. You have so much potential, and I challenge you to break out of your comfort zone.”
Following the motivating words from Hill, the student-athletes were recognized. Coaches from Salt River Junior High and Salt River High School took turns introducing the players on their teams for the 2013-14 season. Each student received an award for participation, and the coaches discussed the highlights of their seasons and what made them memorable. Coaches also took the time to recognize athletes in a variety of categories, such as Most Improved, Academics and Most Valuable Player. First-time varsity athletes received their letters and lettermen received pins in their sports.
To conclude the event, parents and coaches took a moment to meet and wish the seniors and eighth-graders the best in all they want to accomplish.
Sports is a great way to build relationships, learn character and develop skills that can be applied in all aspects of life. Salt River coaches are always looking for talent and welcome anyone who wants to come out and represent the Salt River Eagles sports programs.
If you would like to learn more, reach out to Shawn Lytle at (480) 362-2021.