Opinion: Walk onto a new sport


American River College offers not only educational paths but athletic ones as well. ARC students can ‘walk on’ to a new sport meaning they can go directly to the coach and try out. (Photo by Joel Whited)

Joel Whited

Most successful athletes dedicate a lifetime worth of practice toward eventually making their passions a career, while other people take until college to discover that they too are athletes.

Many people tend to not participate in something that intimidates them because they compare themselves to others who are already successful.

There are plenty of successful athletes who were once walk-ons in state and local community colleges throughout the country.

Walk-on players are athletes who join a team without being directly recruited by the coach.

But, many goals can be achieved if one puts his or her mind to it. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know their potential unless tested.

Jordy Nelson, who attended Kansas State University and currently plays for the Green Bay Packers, is a prime example of a successful walk-on player, according to Bleacher Report writer Jonathan McDanal.

“Jordy Nelson walked on at Kansas State and redshirted in 2003, did not play in 2004 being tabbed for defense, and in 2005 he grew quickly being moved to offense,” McDanal wrote.

Central Arkansas alumni, Scottie Pippen, and current NBA Hall of Famer also started his basketball career as a walk-on.

Closer to home, American River College has excellent coaches who can guide players in the right direction. All that is needed is the right mentality and commitment.

Experience is beneficial, but it is not always necessary to get started.

The spring semester is already underway with options that include swimming, tennis, baseball, track and field, softball and basketball.

The coaches and faculty at ARC will meet with interested students who want to pursue a new sport.

It’s better late than never to try out a new sport, so walk onto success today.