Collegiate sports experience paves way for softball athletes’ futures

Participating in collegiate sports can teach you a lot, and for some students on the women’s softball team it’s turning out to mean learning far more than just skills you can use on the field.

Outfielder Dana Jarboe, a senior social work major, said she hopes to apply what she has learned from softball to her future work with hospice.

“Softball has taught me how to work better with people. I have to learn to get along with 20 other girls who act completely different than I do, not that it has been a challenge, but it has been a learning experience.”

Coach Kathy Stewart agrees, “I hope they learn to be good teammates and put the team ahead of self. They need to understand they don’t have to be great friends with everyone on the team, but they need to respect them.”

Being able to work together with others has proved to be a crucial life skill for the team, that can be applicable no matter what profession a person enters.

“My feeling is that these things will help them in their future lives. It can’t always be about them,” Stewart said.

With the grinding schedule and time that softball demands, keeping grades up has proven itself to be a challenge for some members of the team. However, the coaching staff is there to advise them on how to keep all of their priorities straight.

“Our coach places a high importance on education,” Jarboe said. “I have become such a much better student. In high school I was struggling to have a 3.0 and since I have been in college I have been on the Dean’s List every semester. I really credit coach for all of that.”

Jarboe is only one of seven seniors this season that will have to take on their careers as soon as they each graduate in May.

Senior infielder Dee Dee Davis, a math education major, also feels her teamwork skills will help tremendously in her teaching career.

“Collaboration will help a lot going into the education field just because you are always collaborating with other teachers and parents,” Davis said.

Alexandria Caudill, a junior nursing major, as well as pitcher and outfielder for the team has learned a lot being an athlete as well.

“Being a college athlete is time consuming and requires a lot of hard work and dedication, which I think that I carry over into my personal life. Playing softball has taught me to never give up and that you have to work hard for things in life.”

Not only are these women learning teamwork lessons from coaches and the sport itself, but they are also learning from one another.

“From my teammates I’ve learned to never give up and how to be a good teammate,” Caudill said, “I’m lucky that I have a group of about twenty girls that I know would help me with anything.”

“As a team,”Davis said, “we are always working together and pulling in the same direction.”

Watch the softball team work together when the season kicks off Feb. 15 in Kennesaw, Ga.