Letter to Our Athletes

Recently, FGR’s athletic director, Mickey Redmond, sent a message to all athletes regarding the suspension of all sports due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is the text of that letter.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to close all schools beginning March 16, 2020 until April 6, 2020. On Monday, March 23, 2020, that order was extended until April 13, 2020. In the blink of an eye, the spring schedule for all athletics was postponed, indefinitely. As athletes, especially seniors, you are left with a lot of questions and uncertainty. Some of the many things being asked are “Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t they just let us play?” “When is this going to end?” “What will we do if our entire season is canceled?” The situation we face today has escalated in an exponential fashion. This is not a local epidemic, rather a global pandemic. This is just not about high school athletics; this is much bigger than that. So, where do we go from here?

Let your Leader Show

As an athlete competing in the spring, you have every right to feel upset, cheated, angry, sad, and any other emotion towards the situation imaginable. That is your right as a human being, nobody can take that feeling away from you. It is okay to feel these things at a time when you believe something has been taken away from you. Understand this though: it is not about you. It is now time to shift our thinking and understanding of the situation that we are in. It is now time to take what you have learned in all of your years in athletics. That is how to best deal with adversity. Understand that loss provides opportunity. With the loss of some, if not all, of our spring season, we have a great opportunity. How will each of you deal with this opportunity that lies ahead? It is easy to be positive and courageous when times are good, but what about when we face adversity and loss? Real optimism, faith and leadership are revealed in how you respond to adversity. True leaders come to the forefront during times of tragedy, in times of sorrow, and in times of need. You are currently dealing with more adversity than you have ever thought possible. Will you take this opportunity to let the leader in you show?

Positivity is Contagious

It is impossible to know or predict what the future holds for Covid-19. We do not know when this pandemic will be resolved, or when life will return back to normal. However, it is now time to think about what we can do to make the best of a bad situation. Your years spent in athletics, facing adversity have prepared you for this; use what you have learned, and you can improve the situation for everyone involved. It is easy to remain idle and feel sorry for yourself. It is hard to stay positive and motivated in a time of crisis. Understand that you are capable and prepared. Share your positivity and optimism with others and create the environment you wish to be a part of. Loss is a part of life and it is unavoidable, but it is our responsibility to overcome this loss and be strengthened by it. The strongest of steel goes through the hottest of fires.

Remain Emotionally Connected

As I sit at home, in the second week of facing this pandemic, I am focusing on what is truly important and beautiful in my life. My attention has shifted drastically. This is a time when we can all reflect on and realign our priorities. It is important, at this time, to remain focused and emotionally connected. I recommend sticking to a routine; get out of bed at a normal time, work on your virtual assignments, make sure to get your workout in. It is vital to create a sense of normalcy during this abnormal time. I am currently doing that now by staying busy and active, even while at home. And most importantly, I am taking the time to be grateful for the things that I do have and not focusing on what we have lost. I am incredibly fortunate and grateful for my beautiful, God-given family. I have been given this opportunity to spend more time with my wife, daughter, and son, and I take this time now to cherish that blessing. Do not let your circumstances alter your faith. Instead, allow your faith to alter your circumstances. Now is the time to let the leader in you show and apply what athletics has truly taught you.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

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