Inside Irish: Fighting Against Adversity



An interview between football players

Bailey Ross, Staff Writer

At 2-5, the Notre Dame Football team is certainly not where we hoped to be halfway through the season. All five losses were by less than eight points—one score, one possession. Despite our record, the morale of the team has never faltered; the entire team is committed to finishing our season strong under the leadership of all of our coaches. Recently, I caught up with Josh Anderson, a graduate student running back currently enrolled in the Global Health program, to get his perspective on football, school, and life in general.

Irish Rover: What is it like balancing being a graduate student with football?

Anderson: Balancing being a graduate student and playing football is extraordinarily difficult—however, manageable if the proper precautions are taken. Time management skills, being proactive with professors, and discussing scheduling conflicts with program directors is what it looks like for me to be successful in graduate school while playing football.

At 2-5, what is the attitude of the team?

The team is disappointed but not finished fighting. Notre Dame teaches its students the difficulty of adversity. Those who battle through and finish strong will feel the most fulfilled. Our goal is to battle back and have one of the most memorable seasons in Notre Dame history.

What sorts of things can the team improve on?

We can all improve on our discipline on and off the field. This includes the little things such as keeping the locker room clean and picking up after ourselves. Our margin of error each game was very slim. Cutting out the little errors will lead to greater success for us.

How has playing running back here prepared you and helped you excel in other areas of your life?

Being a walk-on running back at the University of Notre Dame is one of the most difficult positions to be in throughout the college football world. Day after day, we take more hits than anyone else on the team. We sacrifice our bodies more than anyone and receive the least amount of benefit and praise. Enduring this lifestyle through my college experience at Notre Dame has strengthened me as a person. I truly believe that there is no task, physical or mental, that I cannot accomplish if I put the proper amount of effort and intelligence into it. This conditioned mindset is what made me successful as an undergrad, a graduate student, as well what will make me successful in my future endeavors.

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As a walk-on myself, I can attest to the value of being a walk on football player here at Notre dame. The skills you learn can translate to every other area of your life, and to any future career imaginable. As we approach these final five games of the season, the team has one goal: to win. To win for ourselves, for our teammates, for our coaches, for our fans, and for Notre Dame. And I can assure you, we are going to do all that we possibly can to achieve that goal.

Bailey Ross is a senior neuroscience & behavior major. He is a member of the varsity football team. After graduation, he hopes to attend medical school. Contact him at bross4@nd.edu.

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