Here’s part two of six in our back-to-school series.

Today’s the day you’ve been waiting all summer for, and you’re only hours away from finally making it.  Today will have more impact on your playground popularity than any other day this year.  Today is the big tryout, and that bell won’t ring soon enough.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…that incessant pacemaker at the front of the room reminding you of how slowly the school day passes.  It’s the first week of school and you’ve heard it all before…syllabi explanations, exam dates, yadda yadda yadda.  Usually you’d just lean forward, lower your head, close your eyes and let the teacher’s droning voice wash over you like a warm blanket.  But not today.  Today is different.  Today, you cannot sleep:  You have to be ready.

Today is the big tryout.

Your muscles are defined, tendons tense and ready.  You’ve spent all summer putting it together, and today is the day it all pays off.

At birth, weighing between 6-9 lbs you looked more akin to a skin filled sack of water than a highly trained and vicious athletic machine.  But your parents saw the killer in you.  They took you home, and in the protected confines of suburbia transformed you into the pent up distributer of destruction you are now.  They’ve pestered and nagged, annoyed and infuriated, and lorded over you–turning you into an abomination of unholy angst.  It took time and dedication, but here you are, ready for action.

The only thing between you, victory touchdowns, buzzer-beating baskets, and last-gasp goals is this tryout.  And THIS CLOCK.

How can time move this slowly?

This is just ridiculous!

That tick-tocking slow-time moving piece of crap is on your nerves.  You don’t like it.  You HATE IT.

It’s good to hate this clock.

This clock is evil.  It represents everything wrong in your life.  It represents all the exams you’ll miss and homework you won’t do while you’re traveling with the team.  This clock doesn’t even know what a team is.  It’s all alone.  It’s pathetic.

Use this anger.  Feel its power.  Channel the rage through your body and become one with it.  When that bell rings at the end of the day, you will have morphed into a mighty force of destruction.  Life will now be referenced by which side of the bell you lived on–before you were nubile and weak; after, you are unstoppable.  It was the time you went from ready and waiting to deadly and out for justice.

When that bell rings, you’re going to take your boat load of potential and ram it straight through this tryout’s harbor.  When that whistle screams go, you’re going to tear the field in two.  Your dedication will be without question, and your skill unsurpassed.  You’re going to breathe Varsity and sweat excellence.  Your peers will stand in awe, and if your opponents can stand at all it will be in fear.

You will stand and be counted.  Counted as the one.  The only one.

Today is about you.  The season is about the team.  Today you’ll show them that you can’t spell victory without an ‘I’ and that a team is only as good as the players on the field.

So sit back.  Stare at that clock.  Make it submit to your will.  You’re in control.

And when that bell rings, god help the tackling dummies, nets, and playing surfaces before you.