Once we’re athletes, we are always athletes. It’s something that lives in us; it’s a way of life. It’s what we learn on the field that gives us such great potential off the field.
You never stop being an athlete. Maybe we stop training as hard as we used to or maybe we don’t even participate in our former sports and have adopted new ones, but we are always athletes. We always love that sweet taste of success, and we always know what we need to put in to get it. We learn discipline, determination, commitment, courage. We learn what it takes to be hard-working team members and leaders.
At BAWSI, we’re trying to help female athletes realize their potential as leaders in their communities. We want them to see what a difference they can make by just being them and to see how easily they can transition the skills they’ve developed on the field and put them to work off the field.
ABOVE: The Academy of Art University soccer team practicing at Crocker-Amazon Stadium the morning before coming to a BAWSI Girls site to serve as volunteer coaches.
The Academy of Art University soccer team, based in San Francisco, recently traveled south to serve as volunteer coaches at one of our Mountain View BAWSI Girls sites. After a fantastic 75-minutes running fitness and life skills stations with the third through fifth grade girls, we huddled up for feedback. I wanted to know how serving on the BAWSI Girls playground makes them feel about themselves as athletes and about their potentials on and off the field, and how they think being an athlete helps prepare them to be leaders outside their sport. Here’s what they said:
How does being a BAWSI Girls coach affect how you think of yourself as an athlete and your potential on and off the field?
- “I now see how much of an impact I can have on younger, female athletes.”
- “[It] makes me realize I am a role model and big influence.”
- “[It] makes me feel great to see how much I impact someone else.”
- “It reminded me that I can help motivate and inspire people.”
How does being an athlete help prepare you to be a leader outside sports?
- “[It] teaches you teamwork and helps with responsibility.”
- “Leadership and time management.”
- “Everyday I am put in a leadership position, which allows me to easily step into that role anywhere.”
- “[It] helps me communicate and listen.”
- “It gives me a voice and shows me what it is like to be on a team.”
We’re looking forward to seeing how the Academy of Art University soccer players go on to use their great enthusiasm, energy, and leadership skills to make a difference in the world, and hope this will help inspire others to always be athletes and use the great skills they’ve developed in everything they do.
ABOVE: The Academy of Art University soccer team volunteers with BAWSI once every spring. Here the team interacts with the BAWSI Girls on a playground in 2010.