SAC Sound-off: It’s not about Perfection

April 25, 2012

“Practice makes perfect” is just one of the many phrases that inspire one to work harder toward the goal of obtaining perfection.

Though these words may be used to inspire perfection, that is not their true purpose. Perfection doesn’t exist, but the inspiration to reach for higher goals does.

My senior year opened my eyes up to the actualization that trying to be perfect was not what sports had been teaching me all along. What I was meant to take from them were the valuable lessons of dedication, drive, teamwork, and communicating skills.

High school sports are more than a tool for athletic development. They are a medium for creating mentally-strong people who can execute in difficult situations faced later in life. Not that one may perform perfectly in these hypothetical situations, but that one may be able to handle situations that require thinking outside of the box.

How great it would be for all student-athletes to know and realize these secrets – because for the ones that feel the pressure to be perfect, it may be a much-needed relief.

I have strived to be the best I can be, and I have achieved success by doing so. However, with that success came pressure to be perfect in an athletic sense.

My junior year I was named all-state in basketball and I won the MHSAA Division 4 discus championship. Negative comments from others during my senior year about my basketball games or field events in track used to make me feel insignificant and insecure. That was before I realized I have achieved great heights and I will continue to raise my pinnacle as long as I stay positive.

I will never be absolutely perfect; I’m only human, and the best anyone can do is try his or her hardest to never back down from a task at hand. 

High school athletics have molded me from a perfection-seeking mess to a confident, realistic, and optimistic person that finally realizes nothing I do in life is about perfection – it is about the climb of simply becoming a stronger person.

What I can strive for in the realm of perfection is a perfect attitude. The contagiousness of a good attitude will not only keep me optimistic, but it can influence others around me to pursue that positive mental toughness that is so often tested in sports.

Lena Madison, New Buffalo, senior

  • Sports: Volleyball, basketball, track and field
  • Non-sports activities: Student Government, Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, Special Olympics and Senior Olympics volunteer
  • Must-see TV: "Lost"
  • One shining moment: Winning the MHSAA Division 4 championship in discus last spring.
  • What's next: My plan for next year is to attend Notre Dame. I will major in pre-medicine and be on the track team.
  • My favorite part of game day is: ... right before every game, my team has a dance party. We get our nerves out of our systems by dancing them away!

PHOTO: Madison accepts her first-place medal at last season's Division 4 Track and Field Final. (Photo courtesy of Lena Madison.)

Performance of the Week: Northville's Helena McLellan

June 2, 2023

Helena McLellanHelena McLellan ♦ Northville
Junior ♦ Soccer

McLellan, a standout midfielder, scored twice in Northville's 3-0 win over Belleville on May 22 to clinch the overall Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship. The Mustangs earned the opportunity to play in that game by claiming the KLAA West title with an 11-0-3 record, and they're 15-0-4 heading into Saturday's Division 1 District Final against Livonia Stevenson. 

An accomplished club soccer player, McLellan chose to compete for her high school team this spring for the first time and helped Northville to a No. 2 ranking at the end of the regular season after the Mustangs finished Division 1 runner-up a year ago. Belleville was ranked No. 8 in the final coaches association poll, and McLellan followed up her goals against the Tigers with another in Northville's 3-1 District Semifinal win over Farmington Hills Mercy on Wednesday. 

@mhsaasports ⚽️POW: Helena McLellan #performanceoftheweek #soccer #goals #scored #northville #mustangs #conferencechampions #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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2022-23 Honorees

May 25: Mitchel Luck, Linden lacrosse - Report
May 18:
Ahava Le Febre, Holland tennis - Report
May 11:
Gracie Maloney, Macomb Dakota softball - Report
May 4:
Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27:
Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20:
Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13:
Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6:
Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23:
Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16:
Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Northville's Helena McLellan steps into a kick during a May 9 draw with Hartland. (Photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout.)