For the past six months, Anderson Brown has been writing features on student-athletes, and as his mother, I have enjoyed watching him immerse himself in learning about other athletes and sports.
What many of you who have read these columns may not know, is that he is a student-athlete himself. This month, Anderson has been extremely busy with all that it takes to claim that title, so I decided to hi-jack his column to write a little bit about him.
Anderson is currently a sophomore at Payson High School, where he recently made the varsity soccer team. Representing your school in a sport is something that many students look forward to, and Anderson counts himself among those who look forward to high school athletics.
That said, like many athletes, Anderson has honed his craft in competition leagues for the past eight years and spent a few years in recreational soccer before that. He is currently on one of the state’s highest ranked teams for his age group and is traveling out of state to compete in the Desert Premier League against other teams from the desert states. He has also made the Olympic Development team, representing the state with many of the best players in the state.
All bragging aside, what makes me the proudest of my son isn’t just what he has been able to achieve, but what he has done to get there.
Becoming an athlete at the top of your game not only takes going to organized practices; it takes putting in time at home.
Every day, Anderson is getting soccer touches in the basement and the backyard. When time and weather permits, he is at local fields getting shots off. He runs, cross trains and does his best to eat well and get enough sleep.
To maximize his time, Anderson takes three online classes, allowing him time to do his work on the hour drive up north to and from practices. I never need to tell him to do his schoolwork, because he knows how important getting good grades is to his goals of playing soccer after high school.
Being a student-athlete, in my opinion, means more than getting the grades and participating in your sport of choice. It means being a student of that sport and learning everything you can about it.
Anderson takes a sports psychology class at the high school to better understand his mental game. He writes his goals down to see every day. He watches professional and collegiate games to learn from the best, so he can be the best he is capable of.
His younger brother, Aussie who is following in his footsteps says it best:
“Anderson started on some rough teams, but has had the drive to be the best,” Aussie said. “He has been an example of dedication to overcome challenges to be on the top teams. I really like playing soccer with him because he is always pushing me to be my best. He’s gotten where he is because he works harder than anyone else.”
If you have a student-athlete you would like featured, who you feel exemplifies what it means to claim that title, please email Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)