Apr 03, 2019

Finding My Place - A Window Into George Fox Softball

A Winning Tradition

 
  • Two NCAA Regional Tournament Appearances (2016, 2018)
  • Five Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Six NFCA All-West Region Athletes (One first-team, three second-team, two third-team) 
  • 4 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 1 (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week (Abbie Bergerson, 2015)
  • Two National Top-25 Rankings (2016, 2018)
  • One NAIA Regional Tournament (1994)
  • One NAIA District Championship (1994)
  • One Cascade Conference Championship (1994)
  • 1 NAIA District Coach of the Year
 

By Alyssa Gonzalez

During my entire time as a George Fox student-athlete, I have experienced the "Be Known" promise. Whether it be from my coaches, professors or administration, I have experienced their desire to get to know me and to help push me to be better than I ever envisioned.

As an athlete, I knew how to train in order to get better at my sport. I spent countless hours on the field and in the gym. What I did not realize when I came to George Fox was that not only would I be pushed to train harder physically, but also mentally and spiritually.

We always talk about how, even though our season is only four months out of the year, it is a grind. This is something I did not comprehend when first coming into college. I had been playing year-round softball for the past 10 years of my life. "Four months is nothing!" Boy was I wrong! 

Moving 600 miles away from my familial support system was a huge adjustment. I was in charge of managing my own time between practice, weights, classes, studying and somehow trying to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I was a little overwhelmed, to say the least.

In the midst of my time of feeling overwhelmed, I came to experience a brand new support system, from many here at Fox, who made it their personal mission to do whatever they could to help me succeed.

My coaches turned into mentors and were eager to help me grow holistically. This came in the form of team book clubs and an open-door policy, of which I took advantage regularly. I have spent dozens of hours in my coach's office talking about how to grow into being a better leader, how to manage my time to succeed in my classes, challenges I was experiencing with my faith, and anything else you could think of. I now think of my coach as my "college mom," and she is definitely someone with whom I will continue to share all my future successes, and whom I will continue to count on for life.

Don't get me wrong: Our coaches are some of the most competitive people you will meet, but they know the "W" or "L" in the scorebook is not the end of the story. Their goal is to help us leave the program better than how we entered it. If it were not for their desire to know me and to help me grow, I would not have developed to become the athlete or the person I am today.

All this being said, it is not just the coaches who have made a great impact on my growth as a student-athlete. The professors at Fox are invested in my education. Their goal is not to give you a grade and move on, but rather to teach you skills that you will use in your future career and in your life.

I have read many self-help and leadership books which were assigned in my classes. I can also share an example of how committed the professors are to us students. In one of my classes, I was having a difficult time keeping up with the rest of the students in the class. So after almost every class, I would go into the professor's office (no appointment needed) and simply state that I had no clue what was happening. Without hesitation, he would sit me down and explain the information in different ways until I had a firm grasp on the subject. Based on communication with my contemporaries attending other universities, you will not find this at many other schools.

As all athletes know, it is crucial to train and challenge yourself physically in order to reach your true potential. What I did not realize, until I was attending George Fox, was how training yourself mentally and spiritually is even more important than training physically. This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in my time as a George Fox athlete. Our future success is greatly enhanced by the George Fox focus on fulfilling its "Be Known" promise.