Perhaps one of my pet peeves is hearing the words, “I am too busy!” In my opinion, the word “busy” means that you do not have time to give to something. This idea implies that you are giving your time to something else, not related to the thing that you are “too busy” for. And, hearing this as a student-athlete was always something that aggravated me to no end.
Now, I want to make note that I understand that, sometimes, student-athletes genuinely are busy in their lives. However, I refuse to believe that an individual literally has no time whatsoever to give to the sport that they say that they love. For me, being “busy” is simply a matter of perspective. For example, if I tell myself, “Wow, I am really busy today,” then I am essentially given myself an excuse to not do something else that I could have done to make myself better that very day.
Something that Coach Olsen insists that each of his players have is “grit.” In reaction to Coach’s statement, many players typically think, “I have grit! I do all this extra stuff, so he must be wrong.” Well, I am here to tell you that you can always do more than you think you can, especially as an athlete.
Over my four years as a student-athlete on this campus, I saw the potential that each member on every sports team had at the University. And, I finally realized something that was a weakness to practically all of our teams: mentality. In my opinion, mentality is all about adaptability to a situation. Our fault is that we typically have fluctuations in our mentality based on conditions outside of our control. It is this uncontrollable factor that causes the mentality of players to drop, to become negative in some way that is against the benefit of the team.
Such a simple phrase, “You just got to have fun.” But, honestly, I found this to be one of the hardest things for me to remember throughout some games and practices over my four years on the women’s soccer team at the University of Lynchburg. Sometimes, at practices and games, I would find myself so stressed and anxious to make that one save as a goalkeeper that I forgot to “just play.” The coaching staff told me multiple times to “just play” throughout my years, yet I would always think, All I ever do is play. What do they mean?
Throughout my sports career, both at the club level and collegiate level, I am often asked, “Why did you decide to become a goalkeeper?” Typically, their statement is followed by a quick remark like, “You must be crazy. That position is too stressful for me. You are like the last person to stop a goal from going in!”
In response, I say, “Yes, you are right. It is a very stressful position, but that is why I love it!” To be honest with you, I have a love/hate relationship with my position. It is a ton of pressure knowing that you are the last person between the opponent team scoring and the sacred goal. It is hard knowing that one mistake by you could inevitably lead to a loss for your team. For me, having the trust and love for my teammates and coaches on the women’s soccer team at the University of Lynchburg was the most important aspect for me to want to do well. Without feeling supported and wholeheartedly trusted by my teammates and coaches, I would not have had the confidence during my final year of eligibility to believe in myself as a goalkeeper.
On November 6, 2019, my collegiate soccer career at the University of Lynchburg came to a close, losing in the quarterfinals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament by a score of 1 to 4.
To be completely honest, it was so weird for me the first few days that we were back from winter break. I did not know when I was going to see my soccer family again. I was worried about how much I would be able to see them since I know how busy the off-season spring schedule is for all fall student-athletes.
The University of Lynchburg Women’s Golf program has started their first year strong, already creating a legacy of team comradery and excellence. Third-year student and first-year golfer Lindsay Stanley insists, “Being a player on the first women’s golf team is so exciting. We’re making history and having fun while doing it.”
On Saturday, April 20, 2019, the women’s track and field program won their second-straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) outdoor title. The team scored a total of 222 points, which was 76 points ahead of the second-place team, Bridgewater College. This ODAC title is also following their ODAC title for indoor track and field on Sunday, Feb. 24, of this year. There, the team ended with an overall score of 176 points, which was 44 points ahead of the second-place team, Bridgewater College.