This year has been an interesting experience for us all, especially us college athletes.
For the cancellation of season in the spring last school year, we were at a tournament in Arizona playing a practice round when the event got cancelled on our fourth hole. That morning we were eating breakfast and watching the tv and just sitting in shock and awe as all the major sports were getting cancelled right before our eyes.
We then decided to make the most of our last tournament for that year. For this season it was a little bit different, we were seeing on our phones that conferences were cancelling their fall seasons, so our coach kept us up to date on the changing situation.
One day we had an emergency zoom call and our coach broke the news to us. In both instances I was with the team so we were able to lean on each other for support.
Adjusting to online classes has been a little bit of a struggle. It's been tough trying to figure out how to adjust to the course load and how to allocate my time for being on my computer more.
During this season's cancellation we as a team are still practicing and getting in competition between ourselves on the course and we are actually preparing for two head to head competitions.
My school career started with me only playing in two of our 11 tournaments for the year while I averaged a 78. Sophomore year started off much better and I only missed one tournament while having an average of 75.13 for the year and an average of 73.5 in the spring. This past year I averaged a 75.72 before the season got cancelled.
With the shortened season, this team has meant so much to me. They have not only made golf fun and interesting every day, but they have also created a fun and exciting atmosphere in which we all support each other and help each other with any problems that we have.
Each of the alumni that have graduated in years past have taught me many different things about how to be a leader and how to create a team with good chemistry and competition.
Finally, the coaching staff has made the biggest impact on my team here at Valpo. Head Coach Dave Gring has taught me a lot, not only about golf but also about how to be a leader on the team and how to play as a team in an individual sport. Assistant Coach Ron Gring has helped improve my golf game and swing to a level that it has never been at before and I have been seeing the results of that ever since we started working with him.
Last but not least is our Volunteer Assistant Coach Tom Brankin. He showed me a different side to coaching that I have not experienced before. He coaches us like we're athletes by getting to us and telling us when we're screwing up so that we can get our heads in the right frame of mind to focus on the task at hand. He gives us both criticism and high praise just as a football coach would.
This team and the coaching staff will stick with me for the rest of my life and will continue to teach me lessons throughout my lifetime. Everything at Valpo will leave a lasting impact on me and I hope I have left my impact on Valpo.