Passionate, confident, fearless, and relentless are all words that represent our team this year. These words describe our feelings about our sport, our teammates, and ourselves. The team goes beyond just the playing field. We have each other’s back everyday. You will quickly learn that we believe in our motto, “One unit, one family, one team!”

When I was a freshman, one of the first things I learned about our program is the extensive tradition. Representing this team is not just about wearing a uniform. It is about working “110%” everyday and turning that work ethic into victories on game days. We want to get better every chance we get. Hard work and determination will help lead us to a National Championship, which is our driving force. We dream of nothing less than being the best.

Nobody said that playing Division I sports was going to be easy. You need to find a balance between practice, academics, and your social life. Your freshman year will be the toughest, but I guarantee it gets easier. When I was a freshman, I had to sit out my first fall and some of my first spring due to an injury I sustained before I got on campus. Dealing with that and my first year of school was difficult. All I wanted to do was be out there with my teammates and I could not. Again, my junior year I injured my foot and could not practice the entire fall. Sitting out and watching everyone else play is the hardest thing I ever had to do as an athlete. Both those unfortunate experiences made me thankful for every day I am able to play. I am more passionate now, than ever before. I am more willing to make sacrifices to help this team become the best team possible.

Always remember that being a part of this team is a privilege and should never be taken for granted. You will face adversities and we will overcome them together. The four years you play here are going to fly by faster than you think. We will stick together, work hard, and continue to work towards our goal of winning a National Championship. Work hard this summer. Come into your first fall ready to make a positive impact on this team from day one!

Your teammate

Throughout my career motivated individuals have surrounded me. This inspiration at times was tough to feel during the daily grind, and other times the real life energy was obvious. When our paths cross, I am proud to see that the athletes come up to me for a handshake or high five and the stories they remind me about put an instant smile on my face.

This new segment will showcase the letters that many have written, myself or the athletes and coaches that I have worked with; to share their inspiration with those we call “teammates.” As you read through the messages that are shared, please remember that what is inside you can separate you from the rest. Look around and you may be surprised how many others are in need of just a little enthusiasm to push them closer to their goals: professionally, physically, mentally, etc.

I will begin with a letter that I sent to a team that I am still very proud of to this day. No names needed. Just a sincere message that I hope can impact others to pay it forward by giving energy to those around them.

Please leave your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. How are you preparing your team, coaches, administrators, staff, co-workers, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers to have a positive mindset in both good and challenging times?