By: Gage Overbeek
Player, a very broad term that has many meanings in the English language. It is the players on a team that make the sports world go round and round, but every player needs inspiration to be good, great, or even legendary in their own respective sports. From players such as Mike Trout from the MLB team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to Alex Morgan from the Women’s National USA soccer team, they all have found inspiration and have inspired our very own high school athletes. This is how our players are influenced by professional athletes.
I started my journey by asking 36 of our Hamilton athletes from both the varsity baseball team and girls soccer team on how they have been impacted by professional athletes in their own sports. These are the results of the questions I had asked our athletes.
“I have always enjoyed watching the Cubs, and my current favorite player is Anthony Rizzo. He is professional both on and off the field, and is a great baseball player. An added bonus is that he plays first base, and so do I, so it helps to watch and learn from him.”
This is a quote from the response of varsity baseball first baseman and senior Shawn Scholten. As you’ll find with many of these responses that our athletes have modeled their own games after professional athletes.
Another one of our athletes that have been impacted is a freshman on the varsity soccer team, Reagan Schut. Schut expressed how she has been influenced by professional soccer players by stating the following,
“One pro player that has impacted me that most and still does is Alex Morgan. She plays for the Women’s National USA team. I have found motivation from her in lots of ways. I have read her books and the books have some key tips and game like situations which helps me be successful as a player. She (Alex Morgan) has impacted me in many ways from reading books and from going to a game and and watching her in person.”
The freshman Reagan Schut has impressively burst onto the scene making the varsity women’s soccer team in her first year eligible. Reagan seems to have the right direction and the motivation ready to take her game potentially professional.
“I have been mostly impacted by Mike Trout throughout my baseball career and still am. Just the way he started out in the MLB and where he is now is drastically different. The way he carries himself on and off the field which is really important. Also the way he does drills and how often he does them to stay at his peak performance is unreal, but i would say the team impact is more important to me than anything else.”
This quote is from the response of utility varsity baseball player Kyle Aalderink. This is maybe the most unique response I received from one of our athletes. Kyle finds a lot of inspiration from Mike Trout, and continues to be influenced by Mike Trout to this day.
Next we have a varsity pitcher by the name of Jake Visscher. When Jake was asked how he was influenced by professional baseball players he said the following,
“I wouldn’t say I get an influence from any one player but I enjoy watching professional baseball and seeing watch pitchers throw in certain situations and learning from what they do. I believe everyone can get better from just watching pros play.”
Jake is a senior that is on the verge of graduation. It seems that Jake has the right mentality heading out of high school and into the real world.
“Honestly, I personally am not influenced at all by individual players. The only time professionals have any influence on me or how I play is when we are shown specific moments from pro games and we attempt to model their technical skills and how they play with one another.”
Olivia Schwartz, varsity girls soccer player, took the more big picture look at things said she is more influenced by footage shown from coaches in film study. Olivia Schwartz also elaborates the techniques learned in film study and how they have helped her improve her game on the field.
The junior Anthony Berarducci playing in center field for the varsity baseball team, he elaborates on how he has been impacted and how he continues to be impacted by professional baseball players. Anthony told me the following on how he is impacted by professionals,
“The influence that I get from pros is that they have worked very hard to get to the point that they are at and they continue to work hard all while having fun and enjoying the game.”
This is one of the few responses from one of our athletes that doesn’t specifically center around a certain player. Anthony still is influenced by the professionals but by more of a big picture idea. Either way you look at it, it seems the that Anthony has found a great way of thought of thinking about his sport.
Each one of these athletes listed all have differing ways of playing their sport. All of which strategies come from influence of professional athletes in their own sports. Each of these athletes have taken the time to answer the question on how they have been influenced on professional athletes. It is clear to most that professionals will have a major impact on how young athletes play sports and challenge life, it may not be as much of an influence that parents have their children but it is still a very crucial way of life for them. Each of these responses have unique answers on how they are influenced by the pros. Overall our athletes are influenced positively and heavily by the professionals from their sport.