Dear Warrior - Who Cares What They Say?
This week we chatted with Arizona State Softball Alumna, Taylor Becerra, a standout third baseman who’s fierce personality and fearlessness helped her earn 151 hits and 96 runs in her career. But Taylor didn’t always hold this type of reputation and as a young athlete, overcoming the negativity of others was a challenge for her. She recalled that many people discouraged her dreams of playing Division 1 softball because of her size, saying that she was too small.
“I look back and ask myself why I let people get in my head like that. Why did I let people convince me that I wasn’t going to go anywhere special?”
Taylor proved many people wrong when she went on to become a collegiate third baseman. Not only that, but she was also feared by competitors due to her determination to steal the hit and relentless fight to make the next play. Looking back, Taylor wishes she could tell her fourteen-year-old self what she knows now…
“Prove people wrong. Size doesn’t matter. If you trust yourself and you have a great work ethic, you’re going to get to where you want to be.”
Taylor had a stellar career once she got to Arizona State but to everyone’s disbelief, it came to a sudden and heartbreaking end when while rounding first base on a wild throw, Taylor felt a pop and excruciating pain in her knee. She soon learned that she had completely torn her ACL and partially torn her MCL. Her career was over at that moment.
With a new role for the remainder of her senior year, Taylor called to mind the mental skill of Identity just like she had in the face of negativity when she was young.
Skill #2 - Your Identity
Society and external forces try to put us in molds and this can shape our identity without us even realizing it. When others told Taylor that she did not fit the mold of a collegiate athlete, it was important that she didn’t allow this negativity to influence her self-identity. When negativity and doubt entered in, she was faced with the choice to give in or to fight these lies with the truth of who she knew herself to be.
Our true self has nothing to do with our physical attributes or circumstances. Instead, it has everything to do with what we carry inside of us - our passions, gifts, work ethic, values, beliefs, etc. Taylor knew herself; She believed in her work ethic and trusted her abilities as a ballplayer. It didn’t make the negativity around her hurt any less, but she was able to continue on in spite of it and get to where she wanted to be.
The same became true when Taylor experienced her ACL tear. Though her role within her team had changed, it didn’t change who she was. Taylor’s identity as a member of the Arizona State softball team rested more on her character than it did in her ability to play. Even though she could not be on the field, she was still known as a fighter and role model to her teammates.
Loss is hard - whether it’s an injury, loss of a starting position or opportunity, or simply moving onto a new team, it can be painful to have something so important to be taken out of our hands. But even when your circumstances change, remember that you have not lost yourself, Warrior.
Remember who you are when circumstances get challenging or when someone tries to discourage you. The truth is that who you are is never defined by the culmination of your highs and lows. Your identity does not rest on your performance or the things that you do. Go compete fearlessly knowing that if you give it your all you’ll be just fine! No matter what happens, you are still YOU!
Girl, you got this!
Team Fearless, inspired by Taylor Becerra
About Taylor Becerra
Born and raised in Whittier, California, Taylor played third base for Arizona State while earning her degree in psychology. When it comes to softball, Taylor is most passionate about having the opportunity to perfect her craft. Playing on a big stage gave her the opportunity to showcase all the hard work that she and her teammates had put in every day leading up to that moment.