Over the past 35 years of the Bouncing Bulldogs, the program has performed, led workshops, and competed in many K-5, middle school, high school, and higher education environments. Because of the relationships that we have built with individuals and groups in these environments, I’ve been able to call on well-educated people, not only for the program to grow, but also for individual student-athletes to excel. I’ve been able to write recommendations for former jumpers to get internships, scholarships, and jobs, but this wouldn’t have been possible without these relationships I made through the sport of jump rope. I am overwhelmingly proud of these jumpers and grateful for such incredible relationships. Even athletes who didn’t finish the program reach out to me and, instead of dwelling on the past and the fact that they didn’t finish, I would rise above it (like our theme for this year says) and support their academic endeavors.
Overall, the biggest and most important connection I’ve made between the athletic and academic worlds is networking. When one involves themselves in both academics and athletics on a high level, they are able to build relationships with people and mentors who can guide them to further successes in life. My advice is to stay involved and take advantage of the resources provided by both your school and sports, always being cautious of biases and obstacles that may try to stand in the way of your aspirations.