Rocky Hulne: The power of support

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I don’t recall how old I was when I saw the display, but I remember I was skeptical.

The instructor selected a student out of the crowd and had him lift a large weight. The first time the student attempted his lift, the instructor told everyone in the crowd to be silent.

The second time, the instructor demanded that we all cheer the boy on as he lifted the weight.

It was as clear as day that the boy had a much easier time lifting the weight when his peers were supporting him. The instructor basked in the results as he lectured us all on how important it was for us to support each other at all times.

I agreed with the message, but I also wondered if the instructor had taken some weight off the load on the boy’s second lift.

Over my years in covering sports, I have seen how important it is for teams to be all in. That means everybody is fully invested, from the starting quarterback to the water boy.

I saw a couple of solid examples last week in covering the Austin Packers.

During the Austin girls swimming and diving meet against Rochester Century, the Packers and Panthers united in cheering one of Austin’s first-time swimmers. Although the swimmer was well behind the pack of all of the other finishers, the entire pool was filled with athletes who were clapping and screaming out words of support.

The Austin football team also showed some positive signs during their big win over Rochester John Marshall on Friday. The team was buzzing with energy on the sidelines and players were hugging, high fiving and talking each other up throughout the victory.

When it was all said and done, they sang the school song to the student section — a tradition that is one of the greatest in all of high school sports.

In sports, and in life, it may not seem like a big deal to lift up a coworker or teammate, but that could be the difference in that person giving a little bit of an extra effort. It could also be the reason they go to bed with a smile that night.

Be kind and supportive of each other, whenever you get the chance.