If your heart is not in it as an athlete, time will eventually tell

Older athletes always to ask “Do you love the game?”

What athlete is going to say “No?” They ask because they know some athletes aren’t.

Speaking from experience, I didn’t love track & field, but I valued what I thought I would get from the sport.

When I ran track in college, I never loved it. Even in high school I didn’t; I mainly ran because football “encouraged” us to and I thought I was kinda fast enough to win some medals.

As a college student-athlete, I loved track for the status it gave me. I liked the idea of people on campus and people back home knowing Jacolby was a Division-I student-athlete.

My Reality

In reality, I was a football guy trying to run track. If I’m being honest, the only reason I ran track in college was that I was too scared of tearing my ACL again and a small ounce of fear of not being good enough to make the cut for the football team tryouts.

My point here is my heart wasn’t in it or at least it wasn’t in it for the right reasons. Eventually the need for a status of being labeled an “athlete” or getting all the free gear faded. So after 2.5 seasons, my heart was like yo why are we doing this again?

Why are we going through 20hrs of practice, the meetings, the recovery, and the injuries just for status?

Don’t get me wrong I was all in every practice/meet trying to add value to the team. I enjoyed every moment of it. Those experiences shaped me into who I am today. But part of me always wonder what if you loved the sport beyond the status, beyond being seen in the light would I have done more when the lights weren’t on?

The answer is yes. When I look at myself with 9INE POINT my hearts really in. I feel when your heart is in something you’re willing to push through the BS, the disappointments, the fear and so much more to achieve your version of greatness.

When it comes to your athletic journey is your heart in it? If so what’s driving that? Hold on to that feeling because this race of being an athlete is a marathon, not a sprint.


Jacolby Gilliam

Jacolby is the founder and publisher of 9INE POINT Mag. As a former walk-on, he realized there are so many athletes with stories that are not being heard or told for various reasons. 9INE POINT Mag was born, as a platform to help athletes and those that support them share their stories and journey, regardless of your NCAA division, playing status, pro or semi-pro. Jacolby feels that every athlete has a journey that can inspire other athletes in the midst of theirs.
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