Tiger Tales features DePauw student-athletes and their experiences in the classroom and in athletics. Athletics' intern Marissa Doherty conducted this interview with Adrian Ables.
What made you decide to play soccer? How old were you when you started?
I started playing soccer when I was 4, so I've been playing for while now. One of the reasons why I wanted to play in college was because one day I want to try to go pro.
How has the DePauw athletic experience shaped your overall college experience and how has it helped you grow?
It's been an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to go division one, but I choose DePauw because of the people; coach Hauter is amazing. I'd say it's shaped my experience by giving me structure. I have a set period of time every day that I have to go to practice and be able to schedule things around that. I've also learned to communicate with my professors about my schedule. It's had a great impact because I get to stay in shape, do what I love, have a great time and make a lot of friends. I would say the majority of my good friends are soccer players or people I've met through other players.
What experiences in the classroom have helped you in athletics? Vice Versa
One thing I've learned in the classroom that has helped on the soccer field is learning how to speak up. In the classroom you learn that if you're one of those people who don't talk at all and don't have a voice about what you're concerned about, then you're going to struggle. On the soccer field I used to be a pretty quite person, but now I'm more vocal and trying to give encouragement.
What role has your team/coach played in your life at DePauw?
My teammates have become like brothers to me. I would do anything for anyone on the team and vice versa. Even if you don't talk to them much, just being on the team and sweating with them and working hard with them creates a connection that you really can't get elsewhere. I've got to meet a lot of their families and people who play influential roles in their lives. Making those connections is an awesome experience.
How has the small college setting shaped your DePauw athletic experience?
One of the cool things about being in athletics here is that the students usually know who you are. Most people know me through my sport or through social outings and such. You meet so many different people and it's nice to be recognized. There are so many opportunities to meet different people, whether it's in the weight room or meetings with other athletes and coaches, etc.
What is your most treasured/exciting athletic moment?
My freshmen year when we beat Ohio Wesleyan on penalty kicks. I was the only freshman to take a penalty kick and I scored. It was a pretty dramatic ending. The whole team just ran onto the field screaming and started a dog pile. That's a feeling I'll never forget.
Are you involved in any activities outside of athletics? Programs of distinction?
I'm in the Information Technology Associates Program (ITAP) where I've worked for the Management Fellows program as an ITAP intern, managing their website and running other technologies around the office. I'm doing a video rotation job where I'm working on projects for professors or the school in general.
I'm also a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is a great experience because I get to meet different representatives of different teams. I also help plan group activities, events and fundraising efforts. We are in charge of the Tiger Cup where each sports team tries to get as many of its players to show up to a different team's games. It is a great way for student-athletes to go out and support teams that they might not regularly watch and develop new connections.
What are you doing during your semester off-campus?
I'm working for an oil and natural gas company in Oklahoma. It's a semester long internship and I work about 35 hours per week. DePauw gives you the tools to succeed, but you have to use them. Although I am not in a program like Management Fellows, I still have the opportunity to get work experience for the semester. This summer I'm going to work at Eli Lilly, so I'm trying to make the most of my opportunities.
Where is your favorite place on campus? Why?
There's a spot in the nature park that overlooks a cliff and you can see the whole quarry. On sunny days you can go out there and study and it's a really great hangout spot. It's just beautiful, especially in the fall!
How has DePauw influenced you as a person?
I think it has made me grow into the person I've always wanted to be. Where I am right now I am extremely happy and it wouldn't have happened without DePauw and the skills this school has given me. Being a part of ITAP and the soccer program has put me around people who have really high values and expectations for themselves, which makes me want to strive for the greater. President Casey just walking around campus and interacting with people is something you just don't see on other campuses. Additionally, the connections between different Greek houses sets DePauw apart from other schools.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
A friend who graduated two years ago gave me one of the best pieces of advice. He told me the little things are the big things. Looking at the small details in life, whether its homework, hanging out or playing soccer, helps you realize how great this world we live in is. It helps you take an appreciation for things and that's one of the best things I've learned so far. The little things are what make you stand out, what can make you be happier and what can become big things. That's something that resonates with me and I try to think about whenever I'm having a bad day.
How have DePauw athletics prepared you for life after college?
I want to go pro in soccer and Coach Hauter is amazing with the way he handles people from day-to-day and the connections he has, as well as the life lessons he has taught me - being able to take losses, get over injuries, overcoming defeats and working hard are valuable lessons. I don't consider myself to be the smartest person, but I know that if I work hard enough I can get to wherever I want. I think about DePauw soccer and the people that I've met…it's an awesome experience. Living with my teammates, not just playing or traveling with them, made me realize the values we've all gained from the DePauw soccer program.