Hello my name Kimberly Kasnic and I play “Lose-head Prop” position for the Women’s Rugby Team. Excellence is usually described as being outstanding or extremely good. Our team defines excellence as going above and beyond. Excellence to us is not being content with the bare minimum and just being “good.” To us, excellence is seeing how far we can go, how far we can push ourselves to succeed. It’s rising above what others may say and showing them what we are truly made of and that we are a team to be respected and taken notice of. Our program only started about 3 1/2 years ago, and yet we have been to Championships three times, came in first in one of them, gone to Nationals twice, and also developed our team and skills.
Excellence on our team looks like teammates helping one another. To us, the team is truly like a family, and for all of us to succeed and strive for excellence we all need to do it together. It’s important for us to be able to teach one another and show each other how to successfully complete a drill or perfect a new skill. It’s taking things off of the pitch and hanging out with one another and forming a closer bond that will eventually translate to the field.
We build a culture of excellence by making sure that we are all communicating with one another. It’s important for each of us to be able to speak up and throw ideas around to be able to improve our team. This can translate to new players that will be able to pick up on this and reinforce this culture of excellence. We also build this culture be making sure that excellence does not just boil down to wins, but rather focuses on growth and striving to achieve our goals that we set before the beginning of every season. By having these goals we are able to focus on what we need to work on and improve upon. This ties us together and allows us to work as a team, rather than having us each be independent going in separate directions.
One instance that comes to mind that really exemplified excellence would be the most recent spring season we had. Unfortunately, near the end of the season we lost some players due to personal reasons and injuries. Nevertheless we persisted and continued to playoffs where we would go all the way to semifinals before a close loss. However, it didn’t stop us there. We were chosen to be able to go to Nationals in Pittsburgh. This would prove to be a challenge because we had several members that were unable to attend, many due to injury, so we would go in with low numbers. Regardless, we went. Even though we knew we had very low chances of winning, we went in with our heads held high and fought to the end of every match, cheering on each other and congratulating those that would score or pull off an impressive play. This opportunity allowed us all to be able to come closer as a team and showed us that we are all very strong and able to face adversary with one another. Excellence means fighting for as long as we can.