Gettin' Schooled with Grayson: What will you gain?
Over the summer, Grayson Williams-Krebs was an outstanding addition to the CoachUp family as a hard-working intern that knows the passion required to play sports after high school. Although she's in the middle of her senior year at the University of Puget Sound, we realized that Grayson should continue her work with us outside of the office. That's why we launched a new series called Gettin' Schooled with Grayson!
Check back at past week's entries to see how Grayson detailed her journey through collegiate sports, answered the tough questions, and helped athletes that needed inspiration along the way!
Question #1: How do I know if I’m ready for the next level?
Question #2: The Must-Know Terms of Recruitment
Question #3: Should I contact a coach?
Question #4: How do I utilize my high school coaches?
Question #5: How do I choose a coach?
Question #6: If you got injured, would you still be happy?
What will you gain? What kind of person will you become?
Four years ago, I arrived at preseason training camp as a timid freshman with a weak left-foot. I was scared to speak in front of the senior class, I roamed the back of the team huddles, and I desperately tried to avoid eye contact with my coach. Now that I’m a senior, I’m captain of the team, I feel comfortable initiating team meetings, and I continuously ask my coach what I can improve on. Simply put, college soccer has challenged me to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
College is a time where young adults are constantly trying to figure out who they are. For many, it’s the first time we're away from our families, routine, and hometowns -- it can be a scary time. But playing a collegiate sport makes the process a lot less daunting. believe it or not. Soccer gave me an automatic schedule, 25 friends to sit with at lunch, a workout plan, and a personality that I could identify with. In a time in our lives when we're constantly growing, it was nice to use the field as a stage. On it, I could be the person I wanted to be.
For me, as an attacking midfielder, I pride myself on being creative, tough, and a spark of energy -- the field was my creative outlet.
But make no mistake: the student-athlete schedule is demanding. You’ll pretty much have your time planned out for you for the next four years. That doesn’t mean you’re too busy to make it all work, sure, it’s tough, but it’s worth it and completely doable. I’ve truly learned the essence of time management and discipline through balancing athletics, academics, and my social life -- thusly, I’ve found the true importance of valuing your time. Not only are you given four seasons of your sport, but four years of college, and it’s up to you on how you’ll make use of your time. Throughout my four seasons, I’ve taken on different roles on the team.
I’ve learned how to embrace my position -- no matter what it is -- and know that every role is an important one. I’ve been given over 50 different teammates and six head/assistant coaches, and I figured out how to work with all of them. I’ve also gained lifelong friends that can tell my grandkids about the fun times we had in college. And, through it all, I’ve gained a truer understanding of myself. Sometimes, the moments I remember the most are the ones when I missed an open goal, we lost a game we should’ve won, I sat out because of an injury, or when the coach told us to get on the line. Those moments allowed me to navigate adversity and now I know that I can overcome all obstacles.
These moments gave me something to be proud of.
You might think that college soccer is teaching you how to win games and to become a better player, but, really, in these last four years it’s been something so much bigger than that: I’ve been learning how to become a better competitor, teammate, and person. To think about the growth I’ve made in these past four years is unfathomable. I could not be more grateful for everyone who has prepared me, not for running around for 90 minutes or how to shoot a 20-yard ball, but with valuable life lessons that extend beyond the field.
And while I’d do anything to be a freshman again and have four more years of eligibility, I wouldn’t trade-in the positive improvements I’ve made. I’m excited to use everything I’ve gained from college soccer and apply it to life after the game -- whatever's next, I'm ready. Thanks for reading, everybody!