For My Love of the Game

Posted: Friday, June 23rd, 2017. Filed under ATHLETeX, Talent, HXV Team
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In the world of athletics, it is not a difficult task to recognize physical talent.  In fact, it is downright easy. Even my grandmother, who has rarely ever seen a game of basketball, can watch LeBron James hammer home a freakish two-handed dunk in traffic and realize that he has an enormous amount of physical ability. What is much more elusive to discern is the non-physical talent that an athlete possesses, or in other words, their intangible qualities.

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Through my current position at HUMANeX Ventures, I have been exposed to these inner forces that reside within every single athlete and have begun to understand how they drive us. If you will indulge me, I would like to tell a story of my experience as an athlete, and how HUMANeX has helped me realize my non-physical talent.

To say that I love the game of soccer would be an understatement. The sport has been a huge part of my life since I was five years old. As my dreams of playing in the National Basketball Association were cut short by the fact that I didn’t reach five feet tall until my junior year of high school, I dedicated myself fully and completely to soccer.

That was when it happened. In my senior year of high school soccer, I was cut from the team. I felt completely lost. It was as if a part of me had been completely ripped away, leaving a gaping and empty space that I could not fill. My parents consoled me and asked me whether I still wanted to play club soccer in the spring. At the time, that seemed like a very odd question. Even though I had been told that I was not good enough to make a high school team, I could not fathom giving up the sport I loved. That was not an option. I was fixated on continuing to play in whatever way that I could.

Much to my surprise, when the spring club season rolled around, I started getting offers to play collegiate soccer from several Division III schools. This was a dream come true. I was so thrilled to continue to be able to play at a high level that for a while, I could not even articulate how grateful I was to play the sport I loved. I settled on Kalamazoo College, a small, liberal arts school in Southwest Michigan, and played my freshman year there without incident.

In a very ironic and painful twist of events, the coach at Kalamazoo was fired after my first year, and the coach who cut me in my senior year of high school was hired in his stead. I was again tested with whether I wanted to continue playing, especially for the man who cut me in high school and again the answer was simple. I would not stop playing the game that I loved.

This is where my experience at HUMANeX comes in. Through their analysis of the non-physical traits that an athlete possesses, I realized that my intangible quality that drives my athletic performance is my passion for sport. It is the engine that fuels me and allows me to push through adversity because, at the end of the day, I still will be able to do the thing that I love most in this world. Having this knowledge is critical for athletes everywhere. It reminds them why they do what they do and why they spend countless hours putting in extra work when no one is watching. It gives them a purpose to match the physical abilities that they possess and creates a road map for them to achieve their full potential. I could not be more grateful to be in a position that allows me to help other student-athletes achieve their full potential.

This post was written by HUMANeX teammate Spencer M.

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