Monday night was one for the history books: Team USA softball gold medalist and NCSA recruiting expert Jessica Mendoza became the first woman to ever call an MLB game for ESPN.
Just last year, Mendoza became the first female broadcaster in the booth for ESPN in the College World Series. To say she’s done a lot for women – and the world of sports – would be a major understatement.
We are so proud to call Jess a teammate at NCSA. (She regularly teaches softball recruits and their families about the college softball process in webinars, for example.) And while watching and listening to her Monday night play-by-play is something we no doubt celebrated, her knowledge, poise, confidence, and natural ability in the booth proved that man or woman, this person was right where they belong.
There are many, many things we can learn from Jess’s Monday night baseball broadcast, and I believe the most important lessons benefit all student-athletes, male and female, because Jess’s story is really one all student-athletes can relate to: forging your own way to something great.
Taking the road less traveled is challenging, but can be majorly worth it.
Being a female in the male-dominated world of not just baseball broadcasting, but sports broadcasting in general, is no walk in the park. Does this mean a woman shouldn’t do it? Absolutely not. It will, however, take some strong, key characteristics trailblazers share, male and female alike.
It’s going to take guts.
The first may be obvious, but maybe not appreciated enough, and that’s a certain amount of real bravery. Trying a new way of doing things or going out to accomplish something that’s never been done before is scary.
Because no one’s been there or done that, it’s impossible to follow any given path or regime because you are the one creating it. Not knowing what to expect in a situation is uncomfortable, and who likes to be uncomfortable?
But it can result in not only learning more about yourself than you ever knew, but will open doors for others who didn’t have the courage or means you have to have done it, but can benefit from it now, thanks to you.
There are always going to be naysayers.
There are a lot of people out there who don’t like change. There are a lot of people out there who are threatened by people and things different than they are.
It’s going to take a strong mind, a strong will, and some thick skin to work passed these people to achieve your goals. Whether it’s on the field, in the classroom, or throughout your career. No matter who you are, if you have a goal ahead of you and are committed to working for it, there are going to be people out there that try and bring you down.
It’s going to be up to you to decide if you’re going to let them get to you, or if you’re going to let them only fuel your fire and drive to get it done.
A passion for what you’re doing will make all the difference.
Like Jess’s passion for sports has driven her to one of the grandest platforms in sports broadcasting, our aspirations are truly nothing unless they are born from a passion within ourselves.
Our goals and our dreams can’t come from anyone but us – not our parents, our friends, siblings, or teachers.
While we can seek guidance and support in achieving our goals from all these people, you have to love what you’re doing, and want it for yourself, to sustain any level of enjoyment and happiness from not only the journey, but from what happens once you achieve your goal, too.
Our scouts want to help you achieve you goals. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.