NCAA Women

Beyond The Paw – Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site

Beyond The Paw – Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site

experience? Babysitting on weekends I’m not playing sports. What are you interested in outside of sports? Watching sports.

At a certain point in this interview when I didn’t have a response the interviewer was looking for, I paused and started tearing up. I couldn’t answer basic questions about my own life. As athletes, most of our lives are spent on the field, in the gym, at training sessions, and under constant pressure to improve and perform. Like most, we have a drive and passion that is always our priority. But at what point do we take a step back to reflect about ourselves outside of the athletic realm?

When I went home that night, I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted from my day, but those questions from the interview were still on my mind. At this moment, I knew I needed to define myself outside of athletics. While I may be a great athlete, I’m also caring, loyal, passionate, funny, and loving. But that’s not what most people think of when they hear my name. I know that I am more, and I know that I’m not the only athlete who struggles with this.

There is so much more to athletes than meets the eye. For that reason, we believe athletes need platforms and opportunities to expand their identity outside their sport, which is why Beyond the Paw was created because we are all, in fact, not the same. We have a unique personality, we have feelings, we have emotions, we struggle, we smile, we cry, we suffer, we triumph.

Athletes are human. We aren’t perfect, so it is hard to always be judged on our highlight reel or our imperfect stats. From each and every competition, as the wins and losses define us and the stereotypes characterize our being, we yearn for the chance to “be more.” Our identity is continually evolving while our self-recognition and awareness are constant. In my life, I have faced challenges and obstacles where I have needed support and room to be heard and seen. The importance of being valued is immeasurable and the most basic of human needs. One can imagine that it’s hard as an athlete to feel like you are succeeding in life if you are not succeeding at your sport. As you become more invested, especially as you get older and more is on the line, it is hard to not let the wins and losses control your self-worth.

Being an athlete at Clemson University, an academic and athletic school, is an incredible privilege. It comes with much effort, self-discipline and a will to grind. Every athlete at Clemsonhas sacrificed themselves…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Clemson Tigers | Clemson University Athletics | Women's Soccer…