It takes a lot of work to be an athlete. Perseverance, endurance, patience, commitment and effort are all required to be such a person. Maddie Rodriguez is one such individual.
Growing up in Houston, TX, Rodriguez was a girl who loved to play sports. Gifted with natural athleticism, she was told at a young age that she would do well in soccer. Intrigued, she began to play soccer at the age of 10, and quickly fell in love with the sport. At age 12, she progressed to playing the sport competitively, and played all the way through high school.
Rodriguez is currently a senior biology major at the UD. Playing soccer for 12 years, she has developed time management skills, patience, endurance and perseverance. She has also benefited from teamwork and the environment that comes with hard work.
Rodriguez said she is really hard on herself and strives to be perfect, something that she has been trying to work on. She realizes that she — like everyone else — will never be perfect, stating, “It’s a hard lesson to swallow, but it’s one you need to accept in a sport and in life.”
The culture of UD has greatly aided Rodriguez in her quest to overcome her desire for perfection. With its Christian environment and friendly community, UD has been a blessing for Rodriguez. In the last four years, she has learned to be less hard on herself. She says her motto is “to expect to make mistakes, accept them, and try to perfect that.”
Not once has she considered quitting soccer. In fact, she is dreading the end of senior year, in part because she wants to keep playing the sport and also because her a commitment to a sport can be harder outside of school. She does plan to pursue soccer after college, hoping to join outdoor or indoor facility leagues as she continues her life’s journey.
Rodriguez is also a “big family person” and she has loved the bonding moments she has had with her teammates, engaging in conversation and working together to become better players and better individuals. Rodriguez said, “Ultimately, I see them as my family. Those girls are the highlights of my years.”
She praises UD for its deeply Christian environment: “the Christianity of this university was one of the brighter moments in the sport.” The team prays before each game, and Rodriguez has never missed an opportunity to advance in her faith and spiritual life through soccer.
Last year, the UD women’s soccer team went to the SCAC conference final, and Rodriguez is hopeful that the team will make it again this year, confidently stating, “I definitely think we’ll have a good season.”
Rodriguez is both an athlete and a student, a perfectionist and a realist, with a firm faith and a love for family and friends. She is a perfect example of one who realizes that even though at times she will fall, she will always reach for the stars.