We all have been, or will be viewed, at one point in life as the person who can "get it done"-regardless of the respective field.
This is especially true for the athlete that arrives on campus as the designated savior. The anointed one in whom all the alumni and the irrepressible hangers-on stake the entire future of their beloved programs.
Unfortunately, for the athlete the tenure at their respective institutions comes to an end. Oftentimes, without reaching the desired goal that was envisioned for them, and the program, by the numerous persons that craved the opportunities to boastfully "strut", living vicariously, among friends due to the attained successes of the athlete and their cherished program.
"When the Star Quits Twinkling "
is based primarily on stories that have been conveyed to me through the years and, of course, personal observations and experiences. Oftentimes, the athlete becomes the victim of a celebrity status that has been thrust upon them and the inflated ego that accompanies the ability to enter that place where everybody seems to be
"glad you came".
The question that has yet to be answered is what becomes of those who fail to live up to their expected billing? Are they simply cast aside-becoming yet another victim of a vicious cycle that dispenses of over-hyped potential as easily as yesterday's leftovers?
What mechanisms are in place to address the psychological damage that occurs within a young person that was promoted to be a "sure thing", a star? A star that never managed to ascend to a position of prominence among a galaxy of stars.
That question, along with many others, has, in my opinion, never been adequately addressed.
Sure, programs have identified " life coaches" and developed programs to aid their respective players in their transition to normal life.
However, I have never seen this issue addressed in a manner that can convey the proven, non-anecdotal successes, that could be beneficial to the many young lives that are unable to separate themselves from a dream that they were unable to attain.
This must change.
Our Spirit Lives!!