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Posted: September 14, 2013 12:20 p.m.

Patience is sports' true virtue

If you've spent any amount of time outside this week, you know that the nice, cool summer we experienced earlier this season is no more.

Like a thief in the night, the oppressive, southern heat and humidity has taken any chance of a
"relaxing" afternoon outdoors.

Wednesday at Newton High School was an especially hot day. With temperatures in the 90s and enough humidity to make the sweat stick, the Lady Rams softball team took the field against Putnam County.

A young team looking to find its identity, the Lady Rams struggled in the field like any growing program would.
The heat, coupled with a steep learning curve on the diamond, made it a frustrating afternoon for Newton and coach Virginia Waters. Tired faces and hung heads filled the dugout after the game, and Waters had every reason to be upset after the loss.

Instead, Waters walked over, with a smile on her face, and made a lighthearted joke about the game's result.

Don't be fooled; Waters was upset. She's a coach who likes winning. Whether it is a region contest or an exhibition game, the goal is always to win.

But, as the frustrated head coach smiled, you could see that there was more than just the desire to win behind her words.

There was a virtue that everyone could use a little more of—patience.

Working with athletes is a difficult job. That difficulty is compounded when working with teenagers.

A coach has to have a healthy dose of patience to effectively reach a team, and not drive himself or herself crazy in the process.

Whether it’s on the diamond in the hot sun, or in a comfy air conditioned room, Waters' example of patience is one we should all remember and strive to follow.

Sports are a great tutor. Always take a moment to see what the game has to teach. It may be something worth sharing.

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