The Ultimate athlete is a student who trains hard and is committed to excellence, on and off the field. Their work ethic, dedication, determination, and mental toughness is what makes these athletes truly exceptional. Each week the Country Herald will support these incredible student-athletes in our series, The Ultimate. This week’s Ultimate is Emily Glogowski, a junior at Kankakee High School.
Emily is a two-sport athlete who plays softball and volleyball. Emily also is a horseback rider. When described by her former high school softball coach, Rebekah Grimes, she said, “I could tell from day one Emily was a player who cared so much more about the sport than just playing “for fun”. Emily was at every open gym, every extra practice, [and] every off-season workout.”
“Emily is a quiet leader that isn’t the one you always hear yelling on the field, but the one who is leading by example. Off the field, Emily is a standout student. She is always looking to better herself by taking honors and AP classes. She probably works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the softball field. And that is saying a lot, because Emily puts her all into training so she can be ahead of the game during the season. I cannot wait to see where she ends up in the future and I am positive she is going to do great things with the work ethic she has and her “anything is possible if you work hard enough” attitude.”
Who are your heroes in life, and what do you admire about them?
My parents are my heroes. They have proven to me over and over that actions are way more significant than words could ever be. No matter what is going on they always find a way to make it happen for my sisters and me. I can always rely on them when life decides to take a detour and not go the way we planned it to. Another hero that I would like to mention is my uncle Dustin. Besides the fact that he is my awesome gym partner, he unintentionally encourages me all the time and motivates me even when I don’t feel like doing it that day. We still get up, show up, and get it done.
Emily, when did you first get involved in sports?
I have been involved with sports for as long as I can remember. My mom grew up riding horses so as soon as we could we were out there riding. I have been playing ball since I was young, way back in t-ball.
What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
My all-time favorite movie is A League of Their Own, because it reminds me so much of my sisters and myself. They are both catchers and I’m the pitcher.
What are your future aspirations after high school? Also, do you have a plan in place to fulfill your dreams?
My biggest goal after high school is to play college softball at the highest level I can. I know that I will not be able to play forever so [I’ll] do big things while I can. Education-wise I want to major in forensic psychology or [something in the] science field. I do not have a [plan in] place at the current moment, but I am a big fan of Auburn softball.
What’s your favorite sports team and who is your favorite player from the team?
My favorite team is Cleveland Comets with [my favorite player being] Emily Carosone.
Have you ever had any nail-biting incidents that have had a happy ending?
When I was in fifth grade, I stayed up in the hospital for two weeks with meningitis. It scared my family quite a bit especially since we didn’t know what was going on. However, after the whole thing, I survived to tell the story! Which is a happy ending, but it also brought my further [away] distant family closer. Another nail-biting experience I had was going to my first big college camp to my dream college at the time. I was very nervous because I was never the most outgoing or talkative one to initiate a conversation. However, since then I have been able to click with people quicker and be more vocal then I was.
Have you had any serious injuries? If so, how did you deal with these and overcome the obstacles?
I shattered my finger in the first game of the first tournament of the year on a new team. I overcame my obstacle by giving what I could to my team during that tournament. During the rest of the fall ball season when I was out, I came to games to cheer on my teammates and be there for them while they played.
Is it difficult for you to balance sports with schoolwork?
I do not find it hard at all to balance sports and schoolwork. I am a great student who pays attention in class and my great sense of time management helps tremendously.
What would you say the role of a sports parent is?
I feel the biggest role of a sports parent is to always be there for your kid and be their biggest fan. Kids will always look for their parents’ approval and encouragement. That is also something I love about my family. No matter what I did on the field they will always give me something positive about what happened.
What would you say the role of an athlete’s coach is?
The role of the athlete’s coach is to push their athletes to be the best they can be. Pushing them to do things that will help them in the long run.
What is a typical day in the life of Emily?
A typical day for me starts at 7 a.m. when I go to the gym with my uncle [Dustin]. Around 8:15 a.m. when we finish up, I head home to eat breakfast and pick up my little sister, Kylie. We go to the baseball fields about five minutes from our house. Occasionally we have Ky’s friend or my younger cousin tag along to get some practice in too. At the fields, we work on the necessary essentials that need to be done, which include pitching/catching, fielding, and hitting. After we finish, we usually have little competitions and play around a bit. Then I normally go home and relax for a while. If I don’t have work that day, I try to find something to do [like] walking my dog, swimming at the pool, going to the barn or hanging out with a friend or my sisters.
How do you prepare for a game?
Before I play every game, I think to myself, “this game is [going to] happen regardless, so make it worth something.”
If you could sit down and have dinner with a sports athlete and a celebrity who would they be?
I would hang out with Emily Carosone! [Also] Kevin Hart.
Finally, Emily, what are some words of encouragement you would give a younger athlete?
My words of encouragement for younger athletes would be that if you really want something, you are going to have to work for it. At least [be] 1 percent better every day. Trust the process. Don’t expect strength, certain skills, and success to be handed to you. If it was easy everyone would do it. Finally have fun!
Know a local athlete that you believe is The Ultimate? Tell us who you would like spotlighted by completing the form here, at gocorn.org/athlete.
Note: Interviews maybe edited for length and clarity.