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When I think about UAB, I think of the word opportunity. So many athletes have come to UAB to pursue that “opportunity” given to them by their coaches. Someone, somewhere saw your talent and wanted to give you a special opportunity to represent this university. What we do with that opportunity is dependent on one factor: you. Sports related or not, we have the choice to determine if we are going to make the most of the opportunity given to us in life. I want to write on my experience on making the most of my opportunity at UAB.

Fortunately enough, Coach Shoop gave me this opportunity. Coach sold me on three core values of the baseball team:

  1. Honor God

  2. Be Uncommon

  3. Be Accountable

For me, these three core values are the fundamentals for what it took me to fully fulfill my opportunity in sports and in life.

First. Honor God. How does this relate to you? It’s simple… humble yourself and be thankful. As an athlete, I catch myself thinking that what I have done has gotten me to where I am, but in reality my hard work is only a fraction of the puzzle. I firmly believe that I have been given these abilities to fulfill my opportunity for one purpose: to live for God and to glorify Him. Christian or not, humbling yourself is one of the most important things you can do in your life. Put yourself aside, put what is important in front of you, and live for that. If I can pass on one piece of advice I have learned from my three years here, it is to be thankful for what God has given you. Take a step back and realize that He chose YOU to be right where YOU are and to make the most of that opportunity that YOU currently are in.

Second. Be Uncommon. Be different than normal. Do you catch yourself going through the motions everyday? How are you setting yourself apart from others? Many people are often hesitant to set themselves apart from others because they lack confidence in their abilities to lead others. The best way for you to be uncommon is to add value into someone’s life. Look for ways you can put a positive spin on someone’s day. For me, the most memorable moment at UAB is watching my teammates grow this past year in their journey with God. Every week it seemed like I was having a conversation with someone about THEIR purpose God has called them to. All I had to do was listen, pray, and help set the example of what uncommon looks like.

Third. Be Accountable. Some find this to be hard. So often, we look to make an excuse when something doesn’t go our way. Think about it, how many times have you complained the last hour? We have a “no excuse” rule on our team and I admit, it is often forgotten about. Several times over these last three years I did try to really focus on not making an excuse and accepting the consequences for my actions and I realized it really puts a different perspective on the situation. Think of ways that you can be accountable and accept the result of what happened without using “BUT.”<