The 2019 Senior Perspectives is the 14th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Concentration: Psychology: Cognitive Neuro & Evolution
Softball has been in my life for as long as I can remember. Practicing on the weekends, going to the field with my Dad, spending entire weekends at the field playing three or four games a day, and hitting wiffle balls in my driveway made up my favorite and most memorable childhood experiences. The softball field was my second home, and the sport was always a Lantz family affair. My Dad coached me from age 12 to 18, my sister was my personal throwing partner, and my Mom was there to celebrate the good days and pick me up on the bad days. As I grew older, softball became more than just a hobby or something I did on the weekends. Softball has been one of, if not the most, fulfilling thing that I have ever been a part of. What started out as something fun to do as a kid, opened the door to the opportunity of a lifetime.
As I entered high school, my sister Katie Lantz ’15 began her Harvard Softball career and soon the Lantz’s embarked on a whole new softball adventure. Prior to watching HSB, I knew I wanted to play in college and be part of a program that was competitive in their conference with like-minded individuals who were ready to work toward a common goal. As I traveled back and forth from Florida to Cambridge to watch HSB, I not only learned what a special place Harvard was, but also realized how even more special it was to be a student-athlete at Harvard and be a part of a program like the one Coach Jenny Allard has built. Before coming to Harvard, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but HSB gave me more than I could have ever imagined.
While it’s difficult for me to put into words just how much the sport of softball has meant to me, Harvard softball brings various words to my mind: hard work, commitment, love, respect, and gratitude. The one word, however, that best encapsulates my four years on HSB is family. The support and love that I have received from the program, the coaches, and my teammates is what has made my Harvard experience so special. HSB has been my family away from home and has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. My teammates are the people I’ve had the hardest laughs with, shared tears of joy and sadness with, and have made some of life’s favorite memories with. Besides the love and support that I have received from my teammates, the larger life lessons that I have learned from both the sport of softball and specifically HSB are principles that will stay with me long after I graduate. Learning to manage failure, problem solving with a large group of people, and working hard to leave a meaningful and lasting impression are only a few of the lessons I have learned during my softball career and my time as a Harvard student-athlete.
So, while my time as a student-athlete at Harvard may be coming to an end, I know I will always have the memories I’ve made with teammates, the lessons I’ve learned, and most importantly, my HSB family.