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Feature Friday: Amelia McGraw

Happy Friday and day after Thanksgiving! I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with family and/or friends and take time to reflect on all that you are thankful for. And eat yummy food of course :) This week, the spotlight is on Amelia (Judge) McGraw, former standout volleyball player at Missouri Southern State University. During her time there, Amelia led the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Conference in blocks per set as senior in 2010. She was also the school's Student-Athlete Academic President her junior and senior years. Amelia has a great outlook on her experiences as a college athlete. Here's her input!

Photo courtesy of Facebook

GamePlan: If you could sum up your college athletic experience in one word, what would it be? Amelia: Fantastic :)

GamePlan: What is your favorite memory from playing college sports?

Amelia: We always ended the labor intensive pre season (3 practices a day for 2 weeks) with a lake day at my coach’s parents’ house. We chowed down on good food, took boat rides, and made so many fun memories. Definitely a highlight.

GamePlan: What is a lesson you learned while playing college athletics?

Amelia: Teamwork, humility, responsibility

GamePlan: What is one of the hardest moments you had to get through while playing college sports, and how did you get through it?

Amelia: I had a minor injury my junior year which resulted in me sitting the bench for half the season. It was extremely hard for me to have the same passion for practice and games when I knew I wasn’t going to be playing. I learned to cheer my teammates on and support them in different ways. I worked with physical therapy and trained hard over the summer to start my senior year.

GamePlan: Love how you persevered - young athletes, take note!

GamePlan: What is one of the hardest moments you had to get through while going through the recruiting process?

Amelia: Choosing the right school was very anxiety provoking for me. I felt I would be happy in multiple schools but had to finally make a decision.

GamePlan: What advice do you have for student-athletes who are trying to play at the collegiate level?

Amelia: I would recommend doing as many school visits as you can and getting to know the team. I would also advise taking the whole school/experience into account instead of focusing solely on the sport aspect.

GamePlan: Totally agree!

GamePlan: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything? If so, what would you do differently?

Amelia: I can’t think of anything. I had a blast!

GamePlan: What are you up to now?

Amelia: I’m a lead therapist at an inpatient rehab hospital and I love it! I am happily married (to a volleyball fanatic) and reside in Austin, TX. We’re traveling as much as we can before having kids.

GamePlan: What role did athletics play in helping you get to where you are now?

Amelia: Playing a collegiate sport helped foster the skills I needed to be successful in a healthcare setting. Working in healthcare requires excellent teamwork, energy, and communication. Those things came easily to me because of athletics.

GamePlan: Anything else you’d like to share?

Amelia: I just loved playing a sport in college and I would highly recommend it. Going to a new school can be intimidating, but you already have the closest group of friends you could ask for if you’re part of a team. Most of my memories from college are not on the court, but with the teammates and close friends I made because of volleyball.

Thank you, Amelia! Her words are so important - the value of learning communication, teamwork and positive energy are not only important in athletics, but also in the professional world. Tune in next week, and go for a walk to work off the turkey and stuffing!


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