Welcome to Behind the G! This is a Georgia Way platform that shares student-athlete stories, hobbies, and what is important to them. To the world, student-athletes are viewed by their outcomes in their sports, but they are so much more than that. Our goal is to share with the world in their own words who they are as people, and the numerous ways they represent the G on and off the field.
I’ve played softball since I was five years old, but softball is something I do, it’s not who I am. I’ve struggled with placing too much of my identity in a game that is filled with failure. When you spend such a large part of your life being told that you’re great at something, it’s hard to believe that your worth doesn’t come from your performance, or lack thereof. The problem with finding your value in sports is that the outcomes are ever changing, which leaves you in a constant battle to stay afloat. Through my parents, mentors, and being involved in an athletics ministry called Team United, I was taught the truth that I am significant regardless of the result of competition. Since a young age I have placed my faith in Jesus and know that He says I am a daughter of the King and am infinitely worthy and valuable, despite my performance on the field.
I was raised being told that if you work really hard, you can accomplish anything. I’ve struggled with the reality that I’ve done all I can, and it still hasn’t been enough to be the college softball star I spent my whole life dreaming of and working towards. Although I may not have the stat sheet I want and not many people from the SEC know my name, I know I’ve learned such valuable life lessons that will far outlive my four years of eligibility.
Since high school I have enjoyed working out, lifting weights, and have seen how big of an impact that strength and conditioning can have on athletic performance and quality of life. The weight room is one area that I have seen success and growth in throughout my collegiate softball experience. Because of the positive impact that all my current and former strength and conditioning coaches have had on my life, I also want to be a positive influence in the lives of athletes going forward. I love the progress that can be seen from hard work put in when no one is watching, and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn from the UGA strength and conditioning staff in the fall.
I am grateful for the blessings and gifts that God has uniquely given me, and I can live and compete freely knowing I am loved beyond measure, and through the strikeouts and the home runs, my life has meaning and purpose. It’s been such an honor to wear the G on the field, and I will be a Dawg fan for the rest of my life.
Shelby Suplee – UGA Softball #18