Molly recently graduated from Desales University with a degree in Sport and Exercise Physiology. She was a student-athlete who played basketball for four years, reaching the NCAA tournament and winning the MAAC tournament in her final two years.
She is currently a trainer and an athlete program coach at Bent On Better. Together with the other female coaches, Lynn and Alysha, they had recently completed the Bent On Better Pow[Her]ful program, an exclusive young woman empowerment course that helps young girls aged 11 to 16 gain confidence and a positive body image. As an athlete and now as a coach, Molly shares her school girl story hoping that these young women may be able to identify with it.
Molly’s Story as a Young Girl
Middle school Molly didn’t have a phone yet; She was nervous and worried that her lack of self-assurance was making her appear less than confident in front of the other girls her age who already had phones. Without realizing the gender stereotype that women are supposed to be shorter than their male counterparts, she was made fun of and became more self-conscious about being taller than her boyfriend. She had social anxiety, but she was able to overcome it by focusing on what she was most passionate about. Playing the trombone was only one of many things she tried, and it was there that she met one of her closest friends. You can find your passion by putting yourself out there and attempting new things without fear, even if you do not remain with the clubs you once loved as an adolescent.
When Molly was in high school, she discovered what she was truly passionate about: sports. Playing basketball and track provided her the most self-assurance. In court, she is a whole different person. She owned it.
With interest in nutrition and fitness, she began checking out people’s social media accounts who post about their daily diets and their training routines. For lack of knowledge at the time and because she was in high school, she followed the advice of a 5’1 tall, 120lbs girl, a foot shorter than herself. As a result, she was overtraining and underfeeding, which caused her to injure herself during their soccer district championship game; she was usually hungry and exhausted and didn’t obtain enough calories to keep her body running at its peak performance level.
She had to face yet another obstacle while in college. While she was a competitive player in high school, she lost some self-confidence in college because everyone was as talented as everyone else. She was still experiencing social anxiety, and she wasn’t eating enough since she was so stressed about school, balancing practice time with other commitments, and meeting new people.
Molly waited until her senior year to figure things out since she had to step up as a leader on her team. With the support of her teammates, she overcame her initial jitters and gained the confidence she needed to succeed. She stayed focused on the game, dealt with team problems, and set an excellent example for the rest of the players.
Even successful women experienced self-esteem issues at some point in their lives. It was made clear to the Pow[her]ful Program’s young participants by coaches Molly, Lynn, and Alysha, who had already achieved their own successes. From her personal experiences, Molly had this to tell the young women:
Surround yourself with the right people. Knowing that you have people who support you and you support them, knowing that there is an equal balance between the two, and finding the people that you’re comfortable being around.
Fake it til you make it. If you’re not confident in that moment, fake your confidence, and people will believe you, and then you become what you’re practicing every single day, and it works out. You become more confident every time and people notice it.
Be proud of who you are. Don’t try to be anybody else; be you because you are awesome, and don’t let anybody tell you “you can’t” because you can, no matter what it is.