BY KAITLYN YOUNG | Ball State Sports Link
Everybody has embarrassing moments that come back to haunt them. You know, the ones keeping you awake at two in the morning and make you question your life decisions.
For me, one of those moments was my very first day of Sports Link.
I was a wide-eyed, ambitious freshman who couldn’t wait to get started. However, I didn’t fully trust my skills and questioned if I was good enough to be a member of this highly sought after organization.
So, what do I do on my first day? I knock on the door and get somebody to let me in the room because I was too intimidated to walk in on my own.
Now, as a third-year member of the program, I’ve learned that Sports Link’s doors are always open to anyone… and I still lay awake at times cringing at my embarrassing lack of confidence my first day.
Yet, that day and my experiences in Sports Link since have taught me a valuable life-lesson — don’t be afraid to make your own opportunities.
My first semester of my freshman year, I watched and learned while trying to build confidence in my skills. I went on as many interview shoots as I could and worked on every live broadcast possible.
However, I still was too scared to ask other members for help in the editing process. I had ideas for projects I wanted work on, but didn’t think I had the ability to accomplish them.
Growing up in a ‘baseball family,’ I had a love and great understanding of the game. I thought it would be interesting to showcase the Ball State baseball players and the year-round work they put in.
While this was a cool idea, as a freshman I wasn’t confident I had the skills necessary to lead the charge on such a large project.
With reassurance from my family, I decided to take a chance and bring the idea to Sports Link’s senior director, Chris Taylor, towards the end of the semester. To my surprise, he was fond of the idea and wanted me to create a full rundown of my visions for the show to pitch to him.
A couple weeks later, I pitched the show. Together, we brainstormed, and my idea became a reality with the help of CT and my friends in Sports Link. “Believe: Ball State Baseball 2015” was a go.
As the show developed, so did my skills in the sports production field, including the most important of all, my confidence.
With my improved courage and skill set, I had the opportunity to take a summer job with the production team for the Ft. Wayne TinCaps, the Single A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
I carried this momentum into my sophomore year, continuing to push myself and grow my self-assurance.
The following summer, I was comfortable enough to move 2,200 miles away to Seattle, Washington to work as a videographer and content creator for a collegiate summer baseball team.
Freshman year Kaitlyn would most likely have to take some convincing to move 30 hours away from home to live with a family I’d never met in a city I’d never been to, but Sports Link gave me that confidence.
I had an idea, made it a reality and an array of opportunities opened up.
I look back at myself on my first day of Sports Link and think about where I am today and realize how much I’ve grown in just two years.
Though my confidence was lower, I still took a chance to voice my ideas, and by doing so I created my own opportunities.
I now believe with anything in life — even when your confidence is down — you just have to take the leap and grow from the experience.
Ask for what you want and voice your opinions because the worst anybody can tell you is no. No matter how intimidated you may be, just go for it. It’ll get you a heck of a lot closer to your goals than just standing in front of a door.
I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons during my time in Sports Link. Such things like always grab an extra battery when going on a shoot, prepare yourself for anything, ask for help and always use the bathroom before a live broadcast.
Most importantly, don’t let a closed door stand in the way of your future.