I believe that God has gifted those called into the field of collegiate-athletic academics with hearts that are quite special and unique. With these attributes and aptitudes we are given comes a great deal of responsibility. We possess an overwhelming amount of compassion and patiencefor the students we serve, driving us to devote countless hours towards their betterment. We are well aware that our work is often overlooked, drowned out in the roar of a stadium that is some ninty-thousand voices strong. At times, our greatest challenge is simply to protect the heart and passion we have to serve a very special population – the student athlete.
We work to combat societal beliefs that cripple our students’ success and self image, replacing stereotypes of academic insufficiency, lack of motivation, and entitlement with the stories of the perseverance, determination, and resilience that we are witness to everyday. We do not allow ourselves to grow bitter if the sweat of our brow goes noticed. We do not succumb to the pressures that tempt us to value our students’ athleticism over their academia. We resist the desire to throw up our hands when solutions elude us. Most importantly, we never lose sight of the desires, goals, and dreams that extend far beyond our students’ collegiate, athletic careers. Our job is to help them develop the skills and tools they need to be as successful off the field as they are on it.
We have been given a gift – a gift serve a group of students who need the most patient of hearts and innovative of minds. We do not measure our success on the amount of recognition or admiration we receive. We measure success in the countless hours we devote, the patient breaths that we take, and the growth we witness in the students that we so tirelessly care for.
I feel strongly that this work is not a job, it is a calling – one that is not for the faint of heart, I might add. We do not do it for the paycheck. We do not do it for the glory. We do it for the betterment of our students, and through serving them, for the betterment of ourselves. We do it for the relationships we form. We do it for the lives that we see changed for the better. I know few things more rewarding than this.