#146: Athlete Tip: Embracing the Ups and Downs of Being a Girl Athlete w/ Multi-Sport Collegiate Athlete Sophia Schneider

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Are you a girl athlete who’s facing challenges in your sports journey? Do you sometimes struggle with motivation or find it hard to navigate the recruiting process? If so, you’re not alone. In this episode, we’ll hear from Sophia Schneider, a multi-sport athlete who’s committed to playing college volleyball at Lander University. Sophia will share her experiences and provide valuable advice on embracing the ups and downs of being a girl athlete. So, let’s dive in and learn from her firsthand insights!

Introducing Sophia Schneider

Have you ever wondered what it takes to succeed as a girl athlete? Sophia Schneider, our featured athlete in this episode, has been through it all. With a passion for sports and a competitive spirit, Sophia has played various sports throughout her 18 years – basketball, volleyball, and softball have been her favorites, and she’s even gone through phases where she prioritized one sport over the others. However, she ultimately chose volleyball as her focus for college. Sophia’s commitment and dedication to her sport have led her to secure a spot at Lander University, where she’ll continue her volleyball journey.

The Recruiting Process and Choosing the Right Fit

Want to know what it takes to play at the collegiate level? Honestly, the recruiting process can be daunting; Sophia herself encountered several challenges along the way. To find the right fit she had to visit schools across the country and carefully weigh her options. Ultimately, she chose Lander University because she felt a connection with the coach, enjoyed the campus, and wanted to experience a new environment away from home.

If you’re still weighing your options, Sophia emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind and considering all opportunities – regardless of location or division.

The Extra Effort and Sacrifices

If you’re serious about playing at the collegiate level, you should know that it takes dedication, hard work, and you might have to make some sacrifices. Sophia believes that what sets apart those who actually achieve their goal of playing in college is the willingness to sacrifice and put in extra effort. She mentions the importance of working out independently, finding ways to practice even outside of team sessions, and consistently staying involved with the sport.

Sophia’s advice is to seize every opportunity to improve, whether it’s practicing with teammates, training at a local court, or even bringing a volleyball along on vacation.

Overcoming Challenges and Reaching Your Full Potential

Being a girl athlete comes with its own set of ups and downs, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome them and achieve your goals. From dealing with negative teammates to the best advice she’s received, here are some insights from Sophia:

Dealing with negative teammates.

You won’t always get along with your teammates, and negative attitudes can be especially challenging. So, how do you deal with it?

Sophia’s advice is simple yet powerful: Focus on what you can control – your attitude and how you respond. Instead of focusing on the negative, treat difficult teammates the same way you’d treat any other teammate. If the situation becomes unbearable, confide in a trusted person like a parent or mentor, rather than spreading drama within the team.

Find what motivates you.

Like many athletes, Sophia has also faced moments of doubt and lack of motivation. To deal with such situations, she emphasizes the importance of finding what motivates you personally. Whether it’s getting recruited or playing a leadership role on a college team, having a goal in mind will keep you focused and driven.

Commit to your sport early and explore opportunities for growth.

When asked what one thing she wishes she had done differently, Sophia says, “I do wish that I committed to volleyball earlier.” Based on this reflection, she emphasizes the importance of committing to your sport early and exploring opportunities for growth. Sophia believes that had she committed to volleyball earlier, it would’ve allowed her to gain more experience and enhance her skills.

Additionally, Sophia encourages athletes to research different schools and remain open-minded during the recruiting process. Sometimes, the best fit may be somewhere unexpected.

Enjoy your sport.

Yes, it’s important to focus on your goals and work hard to achieve them – but don’t forget to have fun along the way! Yes, it’s important to work hard, but it shouldn’t overshadow the passion you have for the game. If you find yourself no longer enjoying what you’re doing, it’s important to reflect on why and make necessary adjustments.

Aside from the tips above, Sophia also shares the best advice she received – it came from her father, who kept reminding her to work hard. Her simple words made a big impact on her. Her father always told her to be the hardest worker in the room and it taught her to constantly put in the extra work and gave her the motivation to push her own limits.

Final Thoughts

Being a girl athlete comes with its own set of ups and downs, but with the right mindset and approach, you can overcome obstacles and thrive. Sophia’s insights offer important lessons on dealing with negative teammates, reflecting on your athletic journey, and pursuing your goals with determination and joy. Remember, your hard work, attitude, and love for the game will ultimately shape your success as an athlete. So, keep working hard, stay motivated, put in the effort, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. The sky’s the limit!

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Episode Highlights: 

[03:25] Sophia’s background and why she chose Lander. Sophia talks about why she chose to play volleyball in college, and why she ultimately chose Lander University.

[06:28] Sophia talks about the recruitment process and playing at the collegiate level, as well as the difference between high school and college volleyball.

[10:05] Sophia talks about how much work she had to put in outside of her typical practice. She talks about working out on her own without a team or coach, and how she found the motivation to keep going.

[15:25] Sophia delves into recruiting in high school, as well as struggling with performance anxiety in high school. She also talks about the many difficulties she encountered, including injuries she received, and how she ultimately decided to play college volleyball.

[19:10] The power of the mind to change the game.

[22:05] The importance of body language in volleyball. Sophia also talks about how to deal with negative teammates. She also shares what she would’ve done differently in her athletic journey.

[30:26] Sophia shares the best advice she has been given as an athlete.

[32:09] Sophia talks about what advice she’d give to athletes who want to play in college.


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