Whenever you play a sport, you often become close to your teammates and coaches that are with you throughout every “season” of your life. They are all with you while you learn many lessons both on and off the field.
When I was on the Prospects softball team, I never knew that my coaches would change my life. When I joined the team, we ended every practice the same way, “Family on 3, Prospects on 6, Win on 9”. It was through this phrase that I first started to learn about priorities and how we should handle each situation in our life.
Family is always first, no matter where you are in life. Then comes the closest friends that you would protect with all your heart if you could. Lastly, comes the hobbies that you are passionate about and what drives you to succeed.
This was only one of the many lessons that Rich Nixon, Nicole Hance, and Danny Hance instilled in me. It was because of them that I began to thrive on and off the field. You can ask anyone, especially my parents, and they will agree with me.
Another major lesson I learned from these three outstanding people was, “the most important play is the next.” Sure, this may have started out as an on-the-field saying, but as I’ve grown up the saying has grown with me as well. It is not just the field where we need to pick ourselves up and carry on, but in life as well. Things will not always go according to your plans, in fact, they never really do. But, to prosper in this world we need to learn to be resilient and to bounce back from a setback. It is situations that tear us down that truly show who we are as people and shape us into who we are meant to be.
Just this week, I signed to continue my athletic career at Illinois College. Yes, I may have been recruited to play there this summer, but this journey started way before then. It is because of all the coaches, friends, and family that shaped me that I am able to be where I am today and I am beyond thankful for each and every one of them.
If I had to trace the start of my journey, where I realized what I wanted, and actually had a plan to set it into action, I need to credit Rich, Danny, and Nicole. It's not my physical skills that set me apart from other players, it is the values and morals that each one of them taught me that has helped me become who I am today.
So, Danny, Rich, and Nicole, if you all are reading this and I hope you get to, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You all have no idea how much your words and actions have stuck with me throughout the years and have given me countless opportunities. I would not be where I am today without you and I truly mean that. You all have been a blessing to my life.