Dear Athlete leaving a legacy…

Dear Athlete leaving a legacy,

You don’t know it yet, but someone is watching you.

Could be a new freshman on the team. The transfer student from Ireland. Or maybe even an upperclassman.

You don’t know it yet, but someone is watching you.

They’re watching how hard you work.

How you never complain or roll your eyes when the coach turns away.

How you never cut corners, but instead run harder.

How you never talk down to your teammates, instead you lift them up. Encourage them, cheer them on and give them a pat on the back when they make a mistake telling them, “shake it off, we need you.”

They watch as you silently pick up the cones or balls at the end of practice even though you’re not a freshman and you’ve done your time.

They watch as you fall. Hard. Physically, literally on the ground and instead of putting your hands up to the ref trying to get a call, you jump back up and go harder after the ball.

They watch as you do the punishment with the losing team at practice even though you were on the winning team.

They watch as you put in the work on and off the field. In the classroom. In the weight room. During summers and breaks.

They’re watching you.

You don’t know it yet, but your hard work is not only for you and your performance on the field. It’s also motivation for them. It’s inspiring them to do more, be more and work just as hard.

It’s showing them what persistence, resilience, hard work and a good positive attitude can do and looks like.

You don’t know it yet, in fact, you may never know it, but someone is watching you and you’re changing their life. You’re impacting them in a positive way by living and leading through your example and actions.

You don’t know it yet, but you’re leaving a legacy. You’re the one they’re telling their parents about. “I want to play like *insert your name*”. They’re changing the number on their jersey to yours after you leave. They’re writing papers and giving speeches about how you impacted their life and motivated them to be better, work harder.

It’s not because of any stats, awards or recognition why they’re watching you.

It’s because of how you treat others, your coach and yourself. How you carry yourself when you think no one is watching. The actions you’re taking even though you’re not speaking.

You don’t have to wear a captain band to be somebody’s captain.

You don’t have to be a starter in order to make a difference.

You don’t have to be MVP, all-conference, most goals scored to leave a positive life-lasting impression on someone.

Someone that’s watching you.

Looking up to you.

Wanting to be like you.

You don’t know it yet and you may never know it but someone is watching you & you’re changing their life for the better.

“Legacy. What is a legacy?

It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Ell

Dear Future International Collegiate Athlete…

“If you want to be a successful international student athlete you must be confident in who you are and not be afraid to stand out. You have to become comfortable with adapting because no matter how much you try to fit in, you never will completely and that is OKAY! Surround yourself with welcoming and loving people who can be your family away from home. Since you are far away from home and being home sick is a dangerous feeling, especially mid season, it is so important to have people in your new place that can be your support system. Coping with all the stress on your own is never a good idea.

Playing college sports overseas has probably been a dream you’ve had since you were little. You’ve always aspired to go to the USA and play with other incredibly talented athletes. When you do, you will be so incredibly excited to start this new adventure. There are so many new things around you, new people, new culture, new town, new ways of life, new ways of speaking, new food, new styles, new laws.. new, new, NEW! Its incredible and breathtaking! It is also so very unfamiliar, and can be quite overwhelming. When you speak, people may stare because you sound different, or your style of play in your sport may be different or so on. This becomes a normal everyday occurrence. You need to realize you represent YOUR entire country whether you want to or not. If you make a good impression people will think everyone in your country is good, but vice versa as well!

You came to follow your passion and be the best athlete you can be at this point in time. Make sure you remember that and take out any stress you have in your training and practice. Coaches and teams are always going to run things differently to the way you may be used too. Be adaptable and be coachable. You are there to learn, and buy into the new team style whether you like it or not. You have come to their home ground, you have to obey their way and style of doing things. If you don’t you will make things very hard for yourself. If you strongly disagree with change, maybe you shouldn’t be leaving your home town. Being adaptable to change is vital for international student success. 

Being an international student athlete has honestly been the biggest rollercoaster of my life so far. You’ll have some of your absolute best times and some of your absolute worst during this period of your life. You get to grow so much as a person and become very independent! You will meet so many amazing people, that it’ll be hard to say goodbye. You’ll make memories that you never thought you will. It’s so much more then just playing a sport. It’s an amazing experience that not many people get to do! So make the most of it!”

Love your favourite Aussie xx Noosh 

P.S Liz is the real MVP 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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