Editor's note: Spider Stories is a sports series that is designed as a platform to give student-athletes a voice through the sharing of first-person stories.
Ever since I can remember, I have always loved being in a competitive sports environment.
I grew up playing on a club soccer team with all of my best friends. It was my favorite activity to participate in when I was younger. I was distraught when my parents told me I should try something new at the end of middle school due to not being able to compete at the same level as some of the better girls. However, the whole direction of my life changed when my mom saw an advertisement in my high school’s newspaper that they were starting a field hockey team in the fall of my freshman year, something that I did not expect because I attended a public-school in Waxhaw, North Carolina.
With both of my parents being from the north and my mom playing field hockey when she was younger, I decided to try the sport for fun to re-enter a competitive sports environment. If someone would have told me eight years ago after my first high school field hockey clinic that I would be a newly retired Division I field hockey player at the University of Richmond, I would want to say I wouldn’t believe them, but the truth is I probably would.
I am the type of person who thrives off big challenges and tangible self-improvement. The only place where I could find this satisfaction was in sports. I loved the thrill of getting better, winning games and moving up to top teams when I was younger. Therefore, I knew I wanted to compete in a challenging environment such as a Division I team where I could reach my athletic potential. After I got to be in that type of environment during my career here at UR, I left the field hockey team with a whole new perspective as to why I really loved being on a sports team.
I found that it may not be the sport I am playing, but rather who I am playing with that made me love being an athlete. When arriving at college, I was blessed with 23 immediate best friends. While some of these friends were coming and going depending on their grade level, the loving dynamic of companionship always stayed the same.
I especially felt this with my five senior classmates who I arrived at school with. I have endured some of the hardest and yet most rewarding experiences of my life with my class. If I was down at practice or a game, I would look to them to pick me up. If I had something worth celebrating during the season, I would look to them to celebrate with me. Those five girls have seen me transform from a scared college first year to a retired college senior, being there for every high and low. This type of bond has translated to my personal life, and I now look at them as truly a gift I have been blessed with, something that not many people get to have.
Just like any college student, I always kept my future in mind while in school. I started to think about my career path while at home during the pandemic, and the only thing I could find myself being passionate about was sports. During this time, I was deprived from seeing my teammates and competing with them. This made me realize being on a team and working in a competitive atmosphere is an essential part of my life. I highly considered this realization when looking into internships for the summer. I wanted to work for a company with a strong team dynamic and competitive challenge, leading me to the opportunity to work for Fox Sports in their NASCAR division.
This past summer, I interned in the Charlotte Fox Sports Studio as a production assistant. I was one of eight interns, three of which were women. I completed many challenging tasks such as memorizing and performing two standups, editing various features or bumps to break and collaborating with the other interns to complete an eight-week marketing project. I was fortunate enough to have two features air on live television and I was able to shadow multiple professionals in the editing or control rooms. I met some female broadcasting professionals such as Shannon Spake and Jamie Little, and I even helped in wardrobe for a couple of afternoons. Through these various opportunities I found that I loved how interning with Fox pushed me in similar ways that I have been pushed while being a collegiate athlete.
Some weekends I was in the editing room for hours trying to make a feature. Even though the feature was exceptional, my co-workers or managers over-seeing my work always encouraged me that it could be better. I could always find better shots, camera angles, or even background music. The mindset of continuous improvement and never settling for mediocre work is a mindset that has been instilled in my mind for years through my athletic career. Therefore, working at Fox Sports resonated with my values and fulfilled my career desires.
As of this point I don’t know exactly what my future holds, but I do know I want to continue working within the sports industry post-college. Now that I am a retired collegiate athlete, I am still looking for the satisfaction of a team environment with constant challenges thrown my way. I am forever grateful for UR and the opportunity to be a Division I athlete as it unlocked a part of my life that I now want to keep forever.
Contact contributor Regan McCrossan at email@example.com
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