I am writing this note to all the students at the university who have decided not to pursue a sport in which they are proficient.

In my five years of coaching, I think I have heard thousands of reasons why to not play a sport.

Many of these excuses come from athletes never hang around long enough to see and feel all the great things about participating in a varsity sport.

A few good reasons to participate are having someone jump up and down and scream wildly because you won, having someone stop and watch you play, traveling for six hours in close quarters where you are forced to find out something personal about everyone around you.

You’ll also know the eating and bathroom cycles for your teammates, always having someone to call and talk to, accomplishing things you could have not done on your own and being rewarded 20-40 years later for doing something you loved doing.

It is not an easy thing to describe all the wonderful things that come from playing a varsity sport ? win or lose, but take the advice from millions of us who have ? you don’t want to miss out.

As a coach and player, I understand the huge commitment that playing a sport requires. You will forego some parties so that you can travel, sleep or study.

You will have a very busy day-to-day life trying to fit in everything you want to do. You may not be able to sleep until 10 a.m. every morning like many others.

You may have to eat healthier than you are used to. You may have to work on your six-pack abs.

But despite all of these things, I assure you, it will only make you stronger.

There are a lot of good athletes out there on campus. I am just asking you to think about the impact you could have on our teams at UR and about the impact that they may have on your life.

You probably won’t get another chance in life to strut your stuff on the playing field.

Take advantage of this time now before you get tied down to an 80- hour-a-week job and a family where you can’t find a minute to try and work off that muffin top you had today for breakfast.

So reconsider your decision to not even tryout for a varsity sport.

Don’t expect any shortcuts ? in order to truly experience a varsity sport you must go through the same commitment that the rest of your team does.

Our school is still small enough that we can use the support of all potential athletes.

Don’t just sit there ? give your coach a call.

O’Brien is the head coach of men’s tennis and squash.

He can be reached at


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