I tried. It’s hard sometimes being the person behind the scenes. That’s what my role is as Sports Information Coordinator. I write articles for our athletic website and also am working on doing what I can to “market” our athletes. This can be highlighting what they are studying, featuring successful alumni athletes, and finding ways to write about our athletes and share that they are more than wins and losses.
Our men’s soccer team won the Region Championship over the weekend and advanced to the District Championship being held in Michigan. If they win they make it to the National Championship. They are heading on a 10 hour bus ride to Livonia, MI tomorrow very early in the morning.
That’s a long ride. And the team accomplished this, this fall with no athletic director and no athletic trainer (that’s a story for another day!) So I wanted to celebrate this as much as I could with very limited resources. In addition to many Athletics Facebook updates last weekend and this week and getting an article not just on Athletics home page, but the college home page, I scrambled to organize a “send off party” for the team.
I created a flyer that Student Life posted and then I sent this to the VP of Student Affairs and posted on Athletics Facebook. I got supplies at the dollar store yesterday during Alice’s dance class as her studio is next to the store for posters. The “party” would have poster making and then cheering at the field at the end of practice.
I doubted anyone would come. We don’t draw many students to our athletic games but I tried. I had some of the softball team make posters after I did conditioning with them. Then I had basketball conditioning which I completely screwed up today. The coach wanted strengthening not speed and agility. I had to completely change what I was doing and wing it and got it done despite the rough start.
I was feeling deflated but walked into our conference room and our college President and a Board of Trustees member were there making a poster. I was able to bring the President’s poster out to the field.
And it wasn’t many but a few students came out to cheer on the team and hold up the posters the softball team made. The VP of Student Affairs who is our interim AD came out and talked to the team. I listened and took pics and video of the team’s final huddle before they left the field. One of their captains who I heard talk to the team before the Region Championship gave another incredible talk to his team. I was moved and ready to go kick some ass on the soccer field myself.
I gave them some well wishes from our department and left feeling happy. There wasn’t a huge turnout but it something, something to show the team we cared and are proud of them. It’s something I was able to pull together quickly this week all on my own.
It’s not nearly as important as getting the transportation, hotel rooms and money for the trip but it’s the little extra stuff that my job often entails that I hope helps. I heard the head coach talking about all the Facebook posts this week, how he’s hearing from so many former players and how great that’s been. I stood smiling knowing that was my work.
I do a lot of the stuff people may not notice. I try to do a lot to get our athletes recognized and I sometimes feel like it’s just me trying to help them get the attention and exposure they need and it’s frustrating.
But today despite what started as a rough afternoon with no students coming to poster making and a bad workout with men’s basketball it all worked out. The men’s soccer team (who really is a great group this year) appreciated the effort regardless of the size. I tried my best and pulled off something which is better than nothing. It’s hard working as your own entity to get something done but I did it. And I left the soccer field with a big smile on my face.