I never really knew what a work ethic was until I arrived at Simpson. Honestly, I probably didn’t discover what a true work ethic looked like until after my sophomore year. I had been on cruise control for roughly 20 years, it was not only my default setting, but my only setting.
And why wouldn’t that be my default setting? I was a successful enough baseball player in high school to be offered college scholarships. To me, that told me I was working hard enough. I didn’t need to expend any more energy than what was necessary, because hey, I accomplished the ultimate goal of a high school athlete. I made to the “next level.”
When I got to Simpson my sophomore year, I took that same “work ethic” I had in high school and applied it to collegiate athletics. I was rudely awakened to the fact that I was now surrounded with teammates and opponents that were all at least on the same level that I was, or better. In reality, most players were better than me. I played in six varsity games my sophomore year, went 1-8 at the plate and was outclassed in virtually every facet of the game.
After that season, I took a look at what had transpired and decided that I need to step my game up and work harder. First one at the field, last one out, all of those cliches, that kind of stuff.
My junior season was more successful, and this, my senior year hopes to be even better.
Making that change in my work ethic, now it’s a lot easier to spot players and teams that have that same work ethic, and it’s exciting to see, because it seems that every team here at Simpson is working their collective ass off to get better.
I’ve seen it firsthand with the baseball team. Guys are working harder than ever, taking extra swings and ground balls and hitting the weight room with a consistency that hasn’t been there in years past.
It’s not just the baseball team, either. Every time the baseball team was in the weight room this offseason, the track teams were in there doing their thing as well. And that hard work paid off in the form of multiple indoor conference titles and an All-American 4×400 team.
We’ve seen the videos made by fellow Simpsonian staffer Austin Hronich of the football team killing it during max week and we’ve seen the incredible strides of the men’s basketball team, going from one of the worst teams in the IIAC to one of the best teams in just two seasons.
Chalk that up to hard work.
The soccer teams have been out on the turf honing their craft so much, that we as the baseball team have had to kick them off so we could practice. That’s what you want to see. Teams working to the point of having to get kicked out of wherever they’re practicing.
That’s work ethic.
It’s fun to see your own hard work pay off, but it’s even better to see your institution have success as well, and if hard work equals success, then Simpson athletics has a lot of success coming its way.