Student-athletes finding their fire


File Photo

Kyle Schimpf, a senior infielder, runs to home plate to score against the University of New Orleans. Athletes may find inspirations from a number of sources including professional athletes.

Gerard Borne, Staff Reporter

When kids are young, they watch superhero movies, play with legos or watch athletes play their favorite sport. Some student-athletes watch their favorite professional athlete to get inspired.

Mimicry is a common thing throughout sports teams and is often noticeable among young athletes. When growing up, they may wear the same number or dress the same as their favorite athlete. For instance, Kobe Bryant, a former NBA player, mimicked his favorite player growing up, Michael Jordan. Bryant mimicked Jordan’s game, having an identical jump shot.

These athletes mimic professional athletes for   inspiration, to light a fire, and make them play harder, quicker and better. A certain athlete can determine what sport an aspiring athlete plays or can determine younger athletes’ personal style.

The university has many student-athletes motivated by professional athletes, and many use the same technique as their favorite professionals. Trey Shaffer, position 15 for the university’s baseball team, is one of the athletes who is motivated by a professional.

“My favorite major league baseball player is definitely Andrew McCutchen,” said Shaffer. “I like the approach he takes on his game.”

Shaffer is one of the many collegiate athletes who mimic a professional’s work. Shaffer plays the same position as McCutchen, a New York Yankees centerfielder.

Shaffer stated some of McCutchen’s attributes that he admires.

“He’s a hard working dude, and he always goes at it,” said Shaffer. “I try to go about my business just like him every day, on and off the field.”

McCutchen has motivated Shaffer in many ways, and is a positive role model in Shaffer’s life.

Another university baseball player who is motivated by a professional athlete is Bryce Tassin, a redshirt junior pitcher. Tassin is motivated by ex-Detroit Tiger and current Houston Astro pitcher Justin Verlander.

Tassin shared an aspect of Verlander’s approach to the game that he looks up to.

“I like his aggressive approach,” said Tassin. “I like how he is a commanding pitcher and always throws strikes. That same aggressive approach is the philosphy what we do here at Southeastern.”

Tassin often watches Verlander between practices and games whenever he gets a chance. He takes a tactical approach to his game, inspired by his favorite athlete.Schaffer and Tassin are prime examples athletes motivated in their play by professionals.