Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Growing up, being a part of a team was more than just something that kept me busy

Being on a team means more than doing what you love.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to be a part of a team starting at a young age. Although I probably didn't realize it at the time, being on a youth soccer team at the age of four was just the beginning of discovering what the role of a "teammate" really meant. Through elementary school, I played soccer competitively, danced, and began cheerleading as well. At the time, I looked at these after-school activities as something that took my mind off school work, and of course that was fun for me. As I began to mature, I realized that not only was I doing something that I loved, but I was also with people who shared the passion with me.

Once high school came along, it didn't take long for me to adapt to the change of scenery. Joining a Varsity cheerleading team as a freshman seemed terrifying and I was not sure what I would be getting myself into. I did not realize the amazing friendships that would be made along the way.

Until high school, I attended a small Catholic elementary school. When I moved on to a public high school, I was introduced to different cultures, personalities, attitudes, etc. and meeting new people who had different interests than me outside of cheerleading was an eye-opener. It made me realize that being part of a team brings so many different types of people together to do what they love. Going into high school, I never would have expected to be friends with people who has such different interests as me.

This aspect influenced me not only in the gym but in the classroom as well. Because I came from such a small middle school, I was nervous to meet new people. Being a part of a team brought me out of my shell and helped me become more outgoing, especially when meeting the friends of my teammates I didn't share the love of cheerleading with.

So, being a part of this team didn't just introduce me to the girls who I was on a team with.

On top of meeting people with various interests, being on a team also taught me many things about myself. Being on a competitive cheerleading team, you tend to focus more on your team as a whole, rather than one at a time or just yourself for that matter. As our team got stronger, I noticed that when members of the team began to succeed or master new skills, it brought a sense of joy not only to them, but to myself as well. There was such a sense of accomplishment as a team when just one member or one group would succeed. This is something that could be taken out off the mat and brought into everyday life, whether it be in the classroom, at home, or the work place.

These aspects of being on a team taught me a lot about everyday life. Being on a team, especially in high school is important because it gives you a sense of diversity. The things that I learned from those on my team shaped me into the outgoing, loving person that I am today. Being a part of a team also caused me to aspire to work well with others and be a constant advocate of positivity, something that I believe is needed in everyday life. There will always be hard times, but with a strong support base, there will always be success in the end.

Without being a part of a team, I would not have realized these things. I am forever grateful for my teammates who helped shape who I am today.

Cover Image Credit: Jillian Recko

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There Is No Better Feeling Than Stepping On The Field

When the whistle blows, nothing else matters.

It begins the second you step foot off the bus.

Everyone has their headphones on listening to their favorite pre-game playlist. The freshmen are grabbing the water and other equipment. The whole team is in matching warm-ups, looking game ready.

When you enter the locker room, the intensity changes. We come together as a team. We discuss our plan of attack. We hype each other up. We put on our uniforms with the intention of making our school proud tonight. We are almost ready.

Warm up is important. Its time to get focused. Every pass, every touch, every shot counts. Get the jitters out now because the second that whistle blows, nothing else matters.

Game time.

This is it. This is what you have been preparing all week in practice for. This is what your coaches have been getting you ready for. This is when you get to show your school how hard you've been working. This is when all the extra time and preparation you have put in will finally pay off.

Nothing else matters.

When you step foot on the field, you forget everything that is going on in your life and you just play. You forget about the test that you have been stressing all week about. You forget about the shots you missed during warmup. You forget about the tension that was lingering at practice.

The only thing that matters is the game.

There is no better feeling than standing in your position and hearing the whistle blow. Everything else fades away and it is just you and the goal.

Cover Image Credit: Janelle Healy

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Tiger Woods May Be An Unlikely Childhood Hero, But He's Still Mine

I remember it so vividly, the moment I fell in love with Tiger.

In recent weeks, I have written a few sports articles that have turned some heads, raised eyebrows and even caused a few heated debates. Is it because I am trying to agitate people and create a riot? The answer is no. Is it because I have fallen in love with a few underappreciated sports teams and heroes? The answer is yes.

So without further ado, I present another bold sports statement that you may not agree with, however, it resonates very well with me: Growing up, my favorite athlete was and still is Tiger Woods.

I remember it so vividly, the moment I fell in love with Tiger.

I was sitting on my parents' bed watching the Masters. It’s 2005 and Tiger is wearing his “Sunday red” which essentially meant that he was in contention to win the moment he stepped onto the golf course that day. He’s hooked a tee shot about 30 feet past the hole onto a fringe of thick rough. It’s the 16th hole of Augusta National, one of the most famous golf holes in the world. Woods spent about 15 minutes with his caddy surveying the land, trying to find the right line and scrupulously scoping out the best approach to take.

Then he walked up to the ball, took a hefty swing and the rest was history.

This famous chip shot took place on the biggest stage of professional golf and only one man, to say it candidly, had the balls to go for it.

This heightened confidence and ability to be fearless with a golf shot that had more downside than it did up, was what roped me into forever loving this iconic athlete.

From then on out I was hooked on Tiger Woods. I was enamored by his poise and laser focus. I remember watching how comfortable and relaxed he looked, despite playing in front of large audiences. He was always able to block out the noise and hype that followed him, and when a shot mattered most, he was going to sink it into the cup and flash his signature uppercut fist pump.

As a kid, I wanted to be just like Tiger. Whenever I would score a goal in little league soccer or make a basket I would imitate his fist pump and yell. I wanted to be a ferocious competitor and a winner just like he was in his prime. I wanted to emulate his ability to stay focused and block out any outside pressures.



And I wanted to be the greatest of all time, just like he is.

Yes, Tiger Woods has experienced a drastic fall in recent years off of the golf course, but speaking strictly from an athletic perspective, he is to this day one of the greatest sports heroes of all time and is my favorite sports figure.

Cover Image Credit: @tigerwoods

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