How Sports and Being a Twin Taught Me the Importance of Team
By Melissa Wickes
April 21, 2022
I’ve never been one to be the center of attention—in fact, as one of eight children, it was rarely even possible. I always joke that I’ve been on a sports team my entire life—my family is a network of built in teammates, coaches, and a cheer squad. This upbringing has made me value all aspects of a team dynamic—achievements, losses, effort, passion, commitment, and everything in between—both on and off the court. You win together, you lose together. Always. It’s simply how I was raised.
My siblings and I came from a humble background, which often put us at odds with the affluent area we grew up in. What we lacked in social acceptance, we made up for in being dominant on the field or court. The first six of us were twins—so we always had the advantage of two of us together at a time. We were a force to be reckoned with. This bond and determination from a young age has carried us through tough times and brought us to where we are today. We learned to always leave everything on the field in every practice and game, and I carry that lesson with me everyday in life and at work.
Both of my grandparents, Lou and Diane, played basketball for their colleges back in the 50’s. Their passion for the sport still lives on through each of us in our own way and can be seen today, as my youngest brother always has 10+ of us—including Gigi, 88—in the stands at his tournament games during his senior year of high school. While at times for each of us it can be frustrating to have 10+ opinions, 10+ play-by-play moments, and 10+ sources of advice for improvement for every game you play, the love and support is unmatched and growing up with a team like that at home is something I never take for granted.
Our world revolved around sports growing up—whether it be soccer, basketball, baseball/softball, swimming, tennis, skiing, lacrosse or field hockey. I don’t think I can remember ever not playing a sport in my life, until I became a mom. With new time constraints and priorities, I have not yet found the time to pick it back up again for myself. Luckily, youth sports are still present in my life as I am now the driving force ensuring my children have all the access and opportunity to take advantage of any sport they choose.
How This Led Me to LeagueApps
It was always the sense of community and belonging that drove me to keep playing sports. No matter where you were from or what your home life was like, you and your teammates were always on the same wavelength because you showed up day in and day out for one common goal. We all breathed the same sports air. While I miss the community of a youth sports team very dearly in my adult life, I still have a team of sorts in my family. And now, I have it at LeagueApps, too.
My job at LeagueApps is the first time in my career where I feel constantly connected to a community of like-minded people. I knew I belonged here when, at our bi-annual company offsite, I instantly clicked with everyone, and it made me feel part of a team once again. This connection instantly ignited a passion and determination in me for the success of LeagueApps. It also was not lost on me the importance LeagueApps places on Team—being that it is one of the core values the company is motivated by.
Being at LeagueApps has given me the connection to a team that I miss everyday from sports. I find it much easier to succeed as part of a team—whether it’s my team on the field, my seven siblings, me and my twin sister, or my LeagueApps team. The best part about it all is, if we succeed, that means more kids around the country are getting access to sports, falling in love with sport, and learning the valuable lessons that will help shape their lives through sport. Much like it did for me.