My Journey through Collegiate Athletics

By Alexa Lezak – 

 

At 11 years old, I fell in love with the game of volleyball. I played every sport I possibly could when I was growing up, but volleyball was by far my favorite. By the time I was in 8th grade, I knew that my goal was to earn an athletic scholarship so that I would be able to continue playing the game I loved and also have my education paid for. I worked hard towards that goal, playing year-round volleyball for both school and club. Many late nights driving back from practices and games and traveling to numerous different states for club tournaments finally paid off. As a junior in high school, I verbally committed to the University of the Incarnate Word on a full-ride volleyball scholarship.

 

I moved into my new home on campus in San Antonio, Texas the summer of 2014. We started 2-a-day practices for volleyball right away, which, up to that point, was harder both physically and mentally than anything I had ever done before. My freshman season was by far the worst year for my mental health. Without going into too much detail, it had nothing to do with playing time, talent, or hard work, and everything to do with the way I was treated by our coaching staff. (It’s sad how often I hear this same story from other present and former college athletes) On top of this, I was extremely homesick. I had an idea in my mind of what I expected college to be like, and my experience was anything but that. Through the struggles of freshman year, I returned to UIW for my sophomore season. This year was different. I had felt like I had grown a significant amount mentally, and I knew how to handle the mind games and my coaches differently. I was at the peak of my game, playing better than I ever had before and, more importantly, I had gained my confidence back. However, after discussing with my parents, I had made the decision to transfer schools after this season was over. (God has a funny way of working in our lives.) The very next practice after I had made that decision, I tore my ACL. After that, my coaches were not going to honor my medical redshirt year, which made my decision to transfer that much easier. I had surgery, rehabbed my knee, and re-recruited myself within the next 6 months. In the spring of 2016, I committed to Dallas Baptist University to continue my volleyball career and education.

 

I arrived at DBU in the summer of 2016 and had just been released to play volleyball again. The atmosphere itself was so different than what I was used to, and I knew I had made the right decision. I found myself actually enjoying the game of volleyball again! No, I was no longer a “Division 1 athlete”, but I was happier than I had ever been in my college career. I had incredible teammates who turned into my best friends and I met some of the very best people I know that have a significant impact on my life. I knew this is what God had planned out for me from the very beginning. Not to say that my time at DBU didn’t have its own set of struggles (I ended up having to have 3 more knee surgeries in the 3 years I was there), but I had grown into someone who I had always wanted to be and a person that I was proud of. I had made relationships with people that I know will be in my life forever. (Bonus: I met my now fiancé/ soon-to-be husband!)

 

My journey through collegiate athletics isn’t at all what I anticipated it to be, but over time, I have learned that it’s exactly what I needed. In hindsight, I am thankful for the trials that I went through and the lessons that I learned over those 5 years. I think it’s important to remember that your college experience isn’t necessarily all about what you do as an athlete, it stretches far beyond that. Yes, the accolades and recognition that some receive are very nice, but if you’re like me and you don’t have intentions to continue your athletic career beyond college, then I would work hard, make the most of the opportunities you are given, and let your years as a college athlete shape you into the best version of yourself. What you learn during those years will serve you for the rest of your life.

 

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Important TBR Updates

 

  • One of the things we do exceptionally well with our Extended Stay Summer Program at The Texas Baseball Ranch is to help young men map out a plan for progress and help them to stay on track.  If you or someone you know would like to join us at The Ranch this summer, please check out the program at www.TexasBaseballRanch.com/events.

 

 

  • Athletes continue to be excited our “Ranch Remote” training. It’s a program for people that would still like to get access to, and ongoing instruction from, the TBR staff but prefer to avoid travel due to the virus or other limitations. Click here to get more information on this NEW, hyper-personalized training option. Space is limited in this program and we only have a few spots open currently so if you’re interested, don’t delay.

 

Please call (936) 588-6762 or email us: info@texasbaseballranch.com
for more details or to sign up for any of these options.

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