The Patriot Tribune: Ben Buehrer

As a junior or senior in high school sports, being on varsity is almost an expectation. In fact, for some, varsity can come even earlier in one’s career.

For me in baseball, I was ahead of schedule. Freshman year went as well as I could have wanted. I made the team early, I started every game, and I played well too. I had the highest batting average on the team at the end of the season and going into my summer season, I had a great deal of confidence. Again, everything went perfectly and I had absolutely no complaints.

Despite my confidence, I knew that it wasn’t just going to be handed to me and I knew that I was going to have to put in a great deal of work and effort in the off-season.

During the time leading up to sophomore year I noticed that despite my best efforts, teammates were catching up to me. I worked so hard and tried my best, yet, once the season rolled around, I found myself on the bench.

To me, it was unfair. I wasn’t even being given a chance. Maybe I was not playing as well or making as great of an impression on the new coach as I should’ve, but I felt cheated. I was so discouraged and considered quitting for the longest of times. Instead, wanting to not be left with any regrets, I picked myself up and kept trying. Junior year was going to be rough for me, as I was now suddenly considered by all of my coaches to be one of the lower skill-level players in my grade. Again, I came up short.

After a few of my best friends quit the team for reasons similar to what I was experiencing, I found out that I would not be travelling with varsity for the spring break trip. Although it was not super surprising to me, it was devastating. I stepped back and thought how unfair it all was. I wasn’t given a chance sophomore year, and for that reason I would forever be catching up to those around me.

This was an extremely low point for me as I stopped having fun at baseball, was being pessimistic, something that I try never to be, and was all-around not myself.

Then I realized that I had reacted the wrong way sophomore year. Although I never gave up, every time I failed or wasn’t given a chance my attitude towards coaches, teammates, and myself got worse. I tried to simply make it through every day, but I had forgotten the “why”.  Why was I there? Why was I still playing baseball? Why hadn’t I quit?

I love the sport, my team, and the competition. Junior year, despite being on JV, I turned things around. I had a new positivity and really tried to bond with and teach the younger guys I was now playing with. I started having fun again. As the season went on, I improved greatly and ended the season up on varsity with a few innings of pitching under my belt.

Now, as a senior about to take on my last season of baseball, I find myself in a key leadership position and I am happy to have it. I love helping younger guys and hearing their opinions of things, as they often teach me things as well. I continuously try to build relationships with the coaching staff and my teammates. I try to be less hard on myself and I work to make the most of and enjoy every single minute of every day because I realize that it will not be long until I no longer get to take the field I have been taking since I was 4 years old.

I am thankful for the hard times as they have made me appreciate what I have and have made me work to be better. In life, you won’t always get the chance you feel you deserve or perform as well as you know you can, but no matter what happens, you must overcome and know that everything will be alright as long as you keep working towards your goal with a relentless effort. When you’re all done with whatever it is you are working to accomplish, leave with absolutely no regrets.