This documentary aims to not really tell a story of NAU Athletics, but instead record how the department serves more than just itself and its student-athletes. NAU Athletics, a place I've been a part of for more than five years, aims to be a source of alumni pride, engages with current students and works within the city of Flagstaff to enhance the experience of college students and community members.
I wanted to tell my story here in Flagstaff working with the athletic department. Using three ideas; (1) a timeline of my career in athletics, (2) a map of where this department has taken me and (3) the skills I have learned since first starting, I was able to visually tell an experience unlike any other. I have gone through three positions, traveled a ton and learned a lot and just wanted to express what this department has done for me.
Max Spilsbury Field at Lumberjack Stadium is like a second home to me. When I first came to Northern Arizona University in 2013, I came to play Division I soccer as a goalkeeper under Head Coach Andre Luciano. Lumberjack Stadium is where NAU Women's Soccer practices, trains and competes in games. Friday nights under the lights in Flagstaff are comparable to no other experience.
Being one of the youngest in the department... I've learned that its okay to take charge and do things because you have a different perspective."
First Podcast in the Making...
I didn't know what to talk about at first, but I decided to tell a little bit about myself. I usually stick to the three — Social Media Coordinator, Graduate Student and Former Athlete — when talking about myself, but I don't often go into why or how I got here. I took the time here to go more in-depth, include a little music for feeling and give it a spin... this is the result.
Questions Asked in Podcast:
1. What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
2. What are you proudest of?
3. How has your life been different than what you'd imagined?
1. You can feed your hunger for sports every single day.
Even when there are no athletic events or competitions, you are surrounded by sports every single day. You may not be screaming your team's chant or yelling at the television, but you are most definitely living and breathing sports. If it isn't your school, you are talking about the biggest game of the weekend, who interviewed who, what someone said on social media and the likes. There is more to your life than just game day and if you are a true sports fan, it will enthrall you just the same.
2. You are part of the team behind the team.
Within any given office in the athletics department, you are important in making things happen. For example, that t-shirt given out a football game not only needed a designer, but it needed someone in administration to approve, someone in marketing to order and someone in game day operations to give out for the fan to enjoy. No matter what you end up doing within athletics, it couldn't be possible without you. There is a certain level of pride to knowing that you and your team made the experience possible.
3. You are impacting lives.
What you do has both a direct and indirect impact on the lives of student-athletes, fans and your fellow employees. You are giving the student-athlete something to be proud of and to represent. You are working toward making the fan experience better for anyone who comes to a game by themselves or with their families. You are constantly pushing people around you to be better and buy in to the vision. This is more than just a 9-5 cubicle kind of job, this is something that people enjoy, so they are invested and when you are invested too, it makes the experience worth-while.
4. It is just satisfying.
Even if you aren't a student-athlete you find a tear may shed after a loss, your heart rate may rise during a critical moment and you may, quite literally, jump for joy after a victory. Being behind the scenes, but so close provides an experience not like any other. You feel the ups and downs of every team and you might as well be on the team. With every tear there is a smile and behind every emotion is a heart in the game.
5. Free stuff? Oh yeah.
Of course this was the part you were waiting to hear. Everybody likes free stuff. From clothing to backpacks and from free food to trips across the country, having a job in athletics allows you some amazing opportunities. You are really a part of the team so yeah you get a hoodie or that beanie you always wanted as a fan — but don't forget, you have to do the job!