Being part of a team is a privilege. On and off the field, NEC Softball lives by that statement. Assistant Coach Steve Kraytenberg reminds us of this before the start of the season, and as the last out is made in our final game.
As a team we take this into consideration every time we step foot on the field. Not every athlete gets playing time after their high school career. As college student-athletes, we cherish every second we play. We need to be willing to push ourselves to keep this mentality.
Waking up at six in the morning for lift and practice might seem like a lot for an individual, but for the best possible outcome in a game it is necessary. Extra time and effort outside of practice is also something that cannot be taken for granted. It is a necessity to push yourself, as well as your teammates, in order to make it past even the first game of the season.
Being with a group of people who share the same passion as you is incredible. There is a bond between teammates that is close to indescribable. It becomes much more than a team, and as cheesy as this sounds it does start to feel like a family. Growing as a team not only leads to success on the field, but it also allows people to grow as individuals.
Always being there for one another is a key point to having success. Freshman Monica Andrade from San Diego, California explains that her biggest takeaway from being a collegiate athlete is learning to be selfless and to improve not just for yourself, but for the team as a whole. As an athlete, we learn at a young age that being a support system for one another is extremely important. Being able to be open with one another can impact the team dynamic in a positive manner.
The coaching staff is just as important as the players. Being able to talk to the staff and being just as comfortable with them as one is with the team is extremely important. Head Coach Ben Master says the most rewarding thing as a coach is working with and getting to know so many people from different backgrounds, interests, and life goals. The NEC Softball coaching staff does an amazing job making sure our players are comfortable and confident with everything that we do. I don’t think coaches get enough appreciation for all their hard work they put into their teams.
As an athlete, nothing should be just looked at as a win or a loss. You don’t lose, you either win or learn from mistakes. Being a member of the NEC Softball program has really opened up my eyes to why we play the sports we love. It truly is a privilege to walk on a field with so many individuals with so many backgrounds. It is a privilege to be around people who will have your back in any situation.