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Being Part of an Athletic Team

(Academics, Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2022) Permanent link   All Posts
Ryan Taylor

One of the things that I struggled with most this year was deciding whether I wanted to take part in D-III athletics at the Coast Guard Academy. I wondered if it would be too much of a time commitment, whether I was good enough, and whether I would fit in with a new team.

Throughout high school I was part of the cross country and track and field teams. I have never been a particularly gifted athlete and knew that I wasn’t going to be winning a whole lot of races personally. Rather, I stuck with these teams for four years because of the people I got to spend time with, the friendships I made, and a desire to improve in my events. Athletics was likely the most impactful and valuable part of my high school experience. That said, it was never my plan to continue with track and field in college.

This mindset slowly changed as I got more acclimated to the Academy. Over Swab Summer, coach’s time helped me touch base with the coach and other incoming 4/c, some of whom were recruited to be on the team. During the school year, conversations with upperclassmen helped me realize that participating in a varsity sport was very possible, even though I was not a recruited athlete. Additionally, upperclassmen helped me realize that it was possible to do well academically despite time committed to athletics.

Now, after a season on the track and field team, I am very happy that I made the decision to come out. I improved upon my high school performance. I stayed in good shape. I got an opportunity every day to set school aside and de-stress from the day. Most importantly, though, I had fun and built valuable relationships with teammates who love the sport as I do.

I hope that everyone has a great spring; it’s the best time of the year!