Lessons for the future


Spartan Shield

PV graduate Justin Sehlin plays in a tennis meet at Pleasant Valley High School.

Sam Rothbardt, Social Media Manager

As student athletes progress through their athletic careers, there are plenty of lessons they acquire on their journey to playing collegiate- level sports. Many of these valuable lessons can be picked up from their high school experiences. 

Whether a student travels all the way across the country or decides to stay close to home, prior lessons can contribute greatly to an athlete’s success. These can be more than the skills that were developed in order to perform better on the field; teamwork, leadership, and determination are all key components that coaches instill in their athletes in order to help their athletes prosper in higher-level competition.

Justin Sehlin graduated from Pleasant Valley in 2019 and now plays tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. High school tennis has taught Sehlin to respect an opponent and to always be prepared.“I have learned to take every opponent seriously,” he said. 

After learning these lessons, it’s up to the athletes to practice what has been preached. 

This is not always easy, as students have to adapt to classes, a new style of competition and teammates. “High school tennis has definitely helped with adjusting to a team environment,” said Sehlin. A varsity member of the Pleasant Valley boys’ tennis team, Sehlin understands how a team should truly interact.

Kiran Marla is a senior varsity tennis player for the upcoming season. He said, “Coach Brockage does a good job of keeping his players motivated throughout the season.” The boys tennis coach is a great example of how coaches should act in order to get their players ready for upcoming seasons and ones in the future.

Although players need time to adjust to their new homes, there are some aspects of their sport that remain fairly similar from high school athletics. Whether an athlete plays in high school or college, there are always players that are dedicated to practices. “Everyone goes to practice and lots of the guys on the team play outside of practice also,” said Sehlin. Practices are important for the success of a team. Teaching athletes to practice well could determine the success of an athlete at higher levels.

Learning and adapting is a part of sports, especially the transition from high school to college. However, coaches do their best to instill certain lessons in their athletes to ensure future success.