Throughout Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee, Baylor is known for its athletic prowess. With a total of seven state championships last year, Baylor’s athletic excellence is impressive if not intimidating to all, even those within the Baylor community.
When I arrived at Baylor my freshman year, I was shocked by the reactions I got from my peers when I talked about my sport, lacrosse. I had played for several years before and learned about Baylor through lacrosse connections. After hearing my story, girls in my dorm and in the community expressed their fear of participating in athletics at Baylor. They thought that if these programs were attracting players from across the southeast, and even internationally in some cases, then how could they be a part without having had ample experience? These feelings of intimidation and doubt are still very prevalent, especially in the boarding community and for new students.
Capable students, especially girls, avoid the opportunity to try something new due to the huge success of Baylor athletics. After talking to several coaches of various sports, the general message they want to send to those considering trying a sport at Baylor is to not be afraid: coaches and teams are approachable and willing to help new athletes learn and share in the camaraderie and success of being a Baylor student athlete.
I can attest to the ease of diving into new sports and experiences at Baylor. As a freshman, I tried fencing for the first time. Before Baylor, I had never heard of rowing as a competitive sport in high school and now I’m a two-year member of Baylor’s crew team. I’ve always been afraid of flipping, even under water, and of jumping into water in general; now as a senior I’ve joined the diving team. It’s never too late to take a chance and try something new. You will be amazed at the support you will receive from the coaches, fellow athletes, and the Baylor community.
We all have the opportunity to train and compete in facilities that rival those of most college campuses and to learn from some of the best coaches in the country. Baylor offers 14 different sports for girls, so what are you going to try?