Ever since the 4th grade, I can remember being picked first on the playground for any sport as well as playing a leading role on the court or the field during organized sports. So, the summer before my Sophomore year I took all of that energy and put it into all the open gyms and earned a spot playing big minutes on our Varsity’s Summer League team. I was confident I was going to be on Varsity. However, hearing my High School coach tell me, after tryouts, that I was, “...on JV instead of Varsity…” has made the greatest impact on me as an athlete. I was crushed! After talking to some mentors, I was able to use all those emotions as motivation and focused my energy on proving that I deserved a spot to lead Varsity.
“Hard sports things” seemed to come easy for me but that experience showed me the need to take things one day at a time and work on improving daily. I’m learning that competing against a teammate while being a good teammate is a necessary balanced skill in competition. I’m looking for a program that has a coach that will challenge me to improve myself, daily, athletically while offering constructive criticism. This coaching element will only increase my athletic leadership strengths of adapting in the heat of the moment, finding solutions to challenges that others don’t see, and being willing to take risks that others would shy away from.
- Eli Sterling