Finding Your Center

P: Alright, so our question for today is: What is your favorite spot on campus?

The President’s House garden, because it’s really beautiful and peaceful. And makes it so that I can see the campus, the Wren building, and it makes me feel centered here.

P: How does it make you feel centered?

There’s people here. You know, we missed it so much… having an event like this when so many people are together and they are pulling for each other, it’s not that everybody wants the same thing, it’s all wanting to say “Thank you for something different that matters to us.” Yeah. I think about things like this when I feel out of it. It’s a great place.

P: Do you feel the gratefulness in the air right now?

Yes! It’s really intense. But I’m glad. We could…We worked so hard to be able to be together under the pandemic, and I never had to work through with a community in those kinds of challenges, and I feel like we know what hard work feels like. We can do it; we know how to pull together. It’s really powerful.

G: I know being a sophomore, it feels really cool to be able to just walk out of my class and just see things happening [Yes!] because that hasn’t really been the case so far, so yeah, just… How do you feel about kinda–not that COVID is over–but that we’re coming out of it?

I love it. I’m somebody who’s always–I’m pretty social, you know, I’m an extrovert. And I like it when campus is loud. And my theory is… Let’s be loud right here, in Sunky G! We won’t bother the neighbors, we can be as loud as we want, and people are clearly loving being together, so…

J: That’s really cool. If you want to make it loud, what kind of crazy activities or dreams or ideas can you come up with that maybe are a little bit too insane to pull off, or like, what’re you hoping to do?

Well you know I’m a coach, right? [I didn’t.] So one of my favorite things to do–yeah, I’m an Ultimate coach, I coach high school and college, but high school is my passion–and I love bringing kids together to cheer. I think that–and especially right before you’re about to perform. We usually do a sensory exercise, a mindfulness exercise, and then we cheer together.

G: Oh, cool. What kind of mindfulness exercises do you do before the games?

Visualizing your highlight reel. And usually just really one image, it’s a moment, a physical moment when you’re in competition where you’re doing something with a teammate, and it just is right. The communication is right.

J: What’s that moment for you?

So I visualize the moment before a cheer, everyone on the team has our thumbs on the disc, and we’re looking at each other. And one of my players walks her fingers around the disc, everybody’s thumbs. She did it every time, she touches everybody’s thumbs. And it takes about 30 seconds for me to remember that, that moment, that image, and that just…I can remember the faces of all of the players.

G: That’s so cool! So do you still feel like you’ve connected to them? Even now?

Oh, totally. Absolutely. 

P: Ooh, I have a question. So, you’ve got the disc, right? Everyone’s thumb is on it. In a very unnaturally poetic way, can you describe how that makes you feel? You can take your time for this one.

Unnaturally poetic?

P: Unnaturally poetic. Romanticize it!

So, the thing we say before we do it, I just shout to the crowd Bring it in! And everybody comes together, someone puts it  […], everyone’s got their thumbs on…New players sometimes put a finger on, and somebody on the team’s like […]. I feel like we brought it in. Like, we’re in.

G: Do you feel like you can draw any connections between your Ultimate career and then how the William & Mary community feels now?

Look at us! I mean, this is people all bringing it in. And we just put out the call, you guys are doing it around campus, and the feeling of calling people in and coming in together is amazing. I don’t think we’re ever going to take it for granted.

J: That’s really cool. How is that experience for you? Like, what is that feeling to bring people in and your position being able to motivate people?

It’s the best part of my job. You know, and this is what it’s like to play on a team, or to coach a team…The success is the team’s success, not my success. The success is an individual player’s success, not my success. And that’s watching the growth of other human beings, watching when lots of people strive for something really difficult together and succeed. It’s unbelievably powerful.

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