BY LAUREN LUND | EDITORIAL INTERN
I chose to interview Lindsey Blaine, a former high school and Division-I athlete. Before interviewing her, I was interested in the fact that she had played three sports in high school, but little did I know at one point in her high school career she played five sports, which included, basketball, softball, cross country, volleyball, and track. Being a multi-sport athlete myself, I was curious in how she balanced school and sports, considering its really hard sometimes. Lindsey grew up in Lyle, Washington, graduating from Lyle High School in 2003. After getting recruited for both basketball and track and field, she decided to continue her sports career at Purdue University, throwing the javelin for their track and field team. In both her high school and college career she had many achievements, including various records and many honors. Currently, she is a trainer at the Pro Sports Club and is the assistant Varsity coach at Inglemoor High School
Meeting Lindsey was very enjoyable and inspiring. During our conversation I felt like I could relate to a lot of the things she said about playing sports in high school and what life is like as an athlete. I also learned a lot of important things during our conversation that got me thinking about what my goals are as a person and as an athlete after high school. One thing I learned is that in the recruiting process, it’s very important for me to take the initiative to contact and reach out to certain schools that I’m interested in. I also learned that it is really important to focus on what I’m interested in and not let other people’s opinions affect what I want to achieve.
“Even though you are young and people might think they know what’s best for you, only you will know what makes you happy. ” – Lindsey Blaine
Lauren (Q): In high school, what was it like playing five sports? How did you balance school and sports?
Lindsey: Playing multiple sports kept me sane and focused. If I only played one sport, I would be dwelling over that one sport all of the time. For balancing school and sports, I tried always to be time efficient and doing homework whenever I could. I also made sure I got plenty of sleep. In college, it was a lot easier to manage my time because the team had their own schedule they made you follow. They also came and checked on me to make sure I was in class and seated in the first few rows
Q: How was the recruiting process for you? Did you know you wanted to do track & field? Did you want to go to Purdue initially?
L: I knew I always wanted to go to a bigger school, but exactly where was not the issue. It was finding the team and coaches that seemed to be the best fit for me. In terms of doing track and field, I loved playing basketball, but felt like I had already seen where that would take me, but for javelin I felt as though I might be limiting myself in not knowing where it could actually take me. After talking to the coaches and girls at Purdue, I felt it was a good fit for me
Q: If you ever had a bad game or practice, how did you get over it and come back better?
L: In high school, I felt like I had really high expectations for myself and being a very big competitor, it was hard for me to feel like I hadn’t done my best. If I ever had a bad game, I would always try to focus on the things I did right and not what I did wrong. I felt the best way to not get overly upset was to not talk to anyone, especially my parents.
Q: If you could give one big piece of advice to high school athletes, what would it be?
L: Take ownership in the recruiting process, send your info to the schools you are interested in. It matters what you are interested in and what you want to do, not anyone else. Even though you are young and people might think they know what’s best for you, only you will know what makes you happy. If it had been up to my parents, I would have gone to a smaller school, closer to home and played basketball. It was hard for my parents because they were really into basketball and thought it would be best for me to play that sport, but if I hadn’t done what I did, I felt as if I would not be nearly as successful as I was.
Q: If you could summarize how sports have helped you in your everyday life, what would it be?
L: One thing that I’ve learned is how to be put in a room with multiple personalities and learn to get along and work with them. In life after sports, you are going to be put in work environments and situations where you have to get along with people that you wouldn’t normally get along with. A second thing that I’ve learned is how to manage your time. Playing sports in high school and college, I had to manage and balance sports and my time. Now that I have graduated and am in the work force, I have to do that with my job and personal life.
What stood out to me most with what Lindsey said was to reach out to schools that I want to go to and not let anyone influence me in what I want to do, not only in sports but in everyday life. Before meeting Lindsey, I felt apprehensive and scared about the process but now after hearing her story, and how she knew what she wanted and went for it, I feel inspired to do the same. The other thing that I found interesting were her thoughts on getting along. It is very interesting to me how you are expected to get along with people on a team that you might not necessarily be friends with or close to outside of the gym or field. Playing softball and basketball with a group of young women that all have different personalities is extremely hard, but after hearing Lindsey’s stories, I have confidence in knowing that someday, I will look back on my athletic experience, no matter how far it takes me or how long it lasts, and know that I am a better person for it.
Each month, one of our high school interns will interview a former athlete and current leader. Our mission is to connect our girl athletes to experienced ones, to tell the stories of our women’s sports community, and to inspire her own voice. Interested in joining our Editorial Internship Program in the spring? Send a brief letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 10, 2018.