Why I Decided to Join Odyssey As A Student-Athlete

Why I Decided to Join Odyssey As A Student-Athlete

And my life as a student-athlete

I recently decided to join Odyssey and become a writer. I joined because I want to try and do everything I can to help others have a better understanding of student athletes. While it will not be the only thing I write about, I want to show people what it is like to go through the everyday life of a student athlete like myself.

I play baseball at Seton Hall University, and I often see people talking about how much more privileged student athletes are than other students. While in some cases this may be true, there are certain things many people do not seem to understand that I wish to shed some light on. As far as the everyday routine, to some of the more complicated aspects of being a student athlete, I plan on filling people in with what it takes to be a student athlete. I also joined the odyssey because I simply enjoy writing. I wanted the opportunity to be able to write about anything I want.

I have grown tired of being told to write countless essays in school that I simply do not enjoy. Joining the odyssey gives me the opportunity to write about the things I enjoy most: sports, and I look forward to doing so. I feel many people do not understand sports, in the way the athletes who play them do. People have their own passions, whether it be music, entertaining, writing etc. Doing things like this helps you to acquire certain skills and learn certain life lessons through them. Many athletes have been part of many teams throughout their lives and they take away many things from their experiences. One of my goals is to share with people my personal experiences through my baseball career.

Baseball has taught me many lessons and has given me the best times of my life. For those people who have never been on a team before, join a team, it will give you a lifetime of friendships and experiences that you will remember forever. It doesn't need to be a sports team, but a group of some sort because it will open up so many more opportunities for you in your life. I hope to open the eyes of the non-athletes and those who are not the biggest advocates of sports, because it is more than simply a game. It is a lifestyle, and it is the best lifestyle there is. I look forward to continue writing about this and helping people recognize the significance of this sport and all sports not only in my life, but in all athletes lives.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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​​There's A ​Bionic​ Princess​ Pitching At MLB Games, And She's Changing The Way America Views Disabilities

The story of an eight-year old girl inspiring others to overcome physical disabilities.


It is said that two is better than one. That more is less. That it takes two to tango. How about those who don't agree with this logic? That one is better than two. That less is more. That it takes one to tango. Well, put yourself in this situation. Picture yourself tying your shoelace, imagine that you are buttoning your jeans. What is one thing these two tasks have in common: two hands. Although simple, these tasks remain difficult for those who only have one.

Since she was just four years old, a girl from Henderson, Nevada has been seeking to change the perception of physical disabilities.

Hailey Dawson has faced her own adversity with physical disabilities since the moment she was born. A rare birth disease called Poland syndrome resulted in the loss of Hailey's right pectoral muscle this caused her to lose three middle fingers. For the first five years of her life Poland Syndrome dictated the types of activities she could participate in. Seeing kids around her participate in sports and physical activities without any restrictions confused her. Hailey just wanted to be like the kids without disabilities: playing sports, getting dirty, and living carefree.

Although Hailey struggled to understand her condition, she has never let her physical disabilities get in her way and has emerged as a public figure of hope for other individuals who face similar struggles.

In 2015, saddened by her daughter's condition, Hailey's mom, Yong, sought to reach out for help. Where would she reach out to? Doctors, physicians, orthopedics? The problem was that a traditional prosthetic hand would cost her family thousands of dollars. Hailey's mom turned to a different avenue hoping to find the right connection. How about a college engineering department? Living in the Las Vegas area, Hailey's mother was able to reach out to the University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) engineering department to help change Hailey's way of life.

A team of UNLV engineers and researchers used a 3D printer to construct a special prosthetic hand for Hailey. After various trials and prototypes, the UNLV team was able to find the right fit for Hailey. With this new 3-D prosthetic hand Hailey had the opportunity to live as a child who could participate in sports and physical activities without any restrictions. The astounding achievement of creating a hand allowed for Hailey to have, for the first time in her life, ten fingers. Hailey's robotic hand enables her to use five plastic fingers held together and controlled mechanically through a system of fishing lines. The fingers open and close as she flicks her wrist up and down, enabling her to hold objects and lob balls. To commemorate Hailey's new physical abilities, the UNLV baseball team invited her to throw out the first pitch at one of their home games. Grasping her hands around the ball, filled with joy and excitement, Hailey stepped out onto the field. Aided by her father, Hailey then tossed the ball to a UNLV baseball player. This significant accomplishment in Hailey's life was not only meaningful for her own life, but for other individuals like her who struggle with the same condition.

To continue her message, she made a courageous goal to throw the ceremonial first pitch at every single MLB stadium.

Her first opportunity came on Aug. 17, 2015: Hailey threw the first pitch for the Baltimore Orioles to her favorite player, Manny Machado. After her performance at Baltimore, her message continued to be heard and teams across the MLB began to reach out to her via Twitter.

As of today, she has completed her goal of pitching for all 30 MLB teams. However, Hailey's journey is one that will live on forever. Now at the age of eight, Hailey's story has sparked hope for many who face similar struggles. Through her ceremonial pitches she has set out to prove that children with physical disabilities and handicaps are not limited in what they can do, they too have the ability to live an extraordinary life. Her message: that a robotic hand is not out of reach. Hailey has the power to show people that, just because she has a limb difference, it doesn't mean she's limited in what she can do.

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