Personal development goes beyond the game


Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Playing a sport and developing athletic abilities enables athletes to grow beyond just the field.

Athletes get an opportunity to advance skills like leadership, maintaining trust and accepting failures and successes while learning to play a sport with their teammates.

David DiPiazza, president of the men’s lacrosse team, shared that being a part of a team allows students to gain new experiences.

“Club sports offer new experiences for students to get involved, assume leadership positions, meet other people and learn about time and workload management, punctuality, teamwork and responsibility,” shared DiPiazza. “Being able to balance your academic coursework along with club commitments, social life, work and more is a great stress test for students that will soon be going into the workforce.”

According to DiPiazza, being an athlete helped him learn soft skills important for success in professional world.

DiPiazza explained, “What we often don’t learn in the classroom is the soft skills, teamwork, time management, conflict resolution, decision making, etc. that are gained from being involved in a club or student organizations, soft skills that we need to be successful individuals in both our professional and personal lives for years to come.”

Sophie Hannabas, a freshman pitcher on the softball team, shared that being an athlete has taught her to work as a team.

“Some of the things I’d say I have learned are definitely how to work together in the team because on the team, we are also super close, and we are all great friends,” said Hannabas.

Playing for a team also teaches athletes to gain trust in people around them.

“It’s definitely taught me to accept who I am because on our team, no one is same,” explained Hannabas. “We are all different, and everyone loves us for that. They don’t want us to be the same, which really emphasizes that we are all different, and we give the team what we have to offer.”

For Devonte Williams, a senior running back on the football team, time management is an important life lesson he has learned as an athlete.

“Everybody knows you have to wake up really early, go to the workouts,” said Williams. “After workouts, you have to go to your classes, study hard, kind of cram a lot of things you have to eat. There are a lot of things you have to cram into your day, but this is very important for the individual to space out their time so that they can manage both their sports related aspects and the academics.”

Williams has developed other qualities like building relationships with people and stepping out of his comfort zone.

Williams stated, “It’s important to socialize with people around campus, obviously with your teammates, making sure you step out of your comfort zone, and building relationship with people, other sports team and people in the community as well.”

DiPiazza believes being involved in a club sport helped him develop his overall personality.

“I have learned a lot about being a leader, a teammate, an opponent and an ambassador of the sport of lacrosse,” said DiPiazza. “Lacrosse is a sport that is about respect, honor and sportsmanship in all aspects.”

Having people by her side also helps Hannabas overcome difficult situations in life.

“The team has taught me that everyone has their own difficulties, and we can help each other get through that,” shared Hannabas. “We don’t have to be on our own when we trust each other.”