What We Learn As Athletes

It never ceases to confound me when I hear from time to time from non-athletes, “so what’s the point.”  Or, ” as a college we are not in the business of training professional athletes.” I usually grit my teeth and remind them all, as an undergraduate institution no one on the day they get their diploma will be qualified to do brain surgery, run a multi-billion dollar company, argue in front of the Supreme Court, or totally design a new giant skyscraper.

Kristen Taylor breaks into the open last fall

What happens in those 4 years is to build a foundation, that can be used to garner and harness all their education to accomplish many things. They will be citizens who shape their environment, politically and physically. Athletics is part of that education and ( I know I will irritate my faculty friends with the next statement), may be equally as important as that course in Modern British Fiction. It’s the exposure to challenges and learning how to meet it, that will shape our young student athletes.

Sam DiMaio powers past a defender

More often than not there will be frustrations and disappointments and great triumphs as well. I am reminded of a prayer I once read:

I  Asked For—–

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong

I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve

I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brain to work

I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome

I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help

I asked for favors and God gave me oppotunites

I received nothing I wanted

I received everything I needed!

All my prayers have been answered

On January 22 our team returned to the campus. The 2018 season has begun with strength and conditioning drills, soon to morph into spring practice. The new class has been signed with Mary Gould, Alix Talkow, Molly Mc Andrew, Maddie Mayuga, and  Holly Abbot. They will begin their four year adventure in August. (We expect perhaps one more signing this spring).  These new students will have the additional challenge of adjusting to new teammates, and the next step up in skill and speed.

Anna Steps looks for help

Even before the first weight is lifted, Theresa Delahanty and Rachel Bird attended the US Naval Academy leadership course ( See the picture at the head of the article with soccer player Joe DeStefano and Deputy Director of Athletics Katy McKittrick and now senior student mentor Ellen Colbourne) . Hopefully, they will bring new leadership skills to inspire the Field Hockey Leopards to success this fall. As I said in previous posts, I have seen the schedule and there is not one team, that is beyond our reach next season. For the seniors, it all comes together, for the juniors they become an important part in the growth of the team, the sophomores, now have been around for a year and have played teams at the highest level, and the freshmen will learn to be integrated into a winning culture.

Hopefully, all our prayers will be answered


Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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