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4 Teammate Lessons from Alex Wilcox

ovarian cancer alex wilcox mississippi state softball 4 teammate lessons

As hundreds of teams do the wall sit in honor of Alex Wilcox, let her teach you how to be a great teammate!

If your team could stand to be better teammates, then let one of the best teach you how.

Across the country teams are doing the wall sit in honor of one of softball’s greatest teammates – Alex Wilcox. Learn how this incredibly brave young woman taught us all to be great teammates.

Alex Wilcox was a softball player who developed ovarian cancer at the age of 15. While undergoing cancer treatments she helped lead her high school team to multiple state championships.

But Alex wasn’t finished. Her dream of playing college softball came true when she became a member of the Mississippi State Softball Team. During her freshman season she continued fighting her cancer while playing in 8 games and being named to the SEC Honor Roll.

Alex’s constant smile and relentless spirit were perpetual reminders to her teammates that no matter how bad their day may have been, there was never a reason to give less than their best. Just days after finishing a round of chemotherapy, Alex held a wall sit for 4 minutes and 28 seconds. An incredible amount of time for any player, let alone one that’s undergoing cancer treatment! Alex Wilcox lost her battle with ovarian cancer and passed away at the young age of 18, but her memory and her spirit live on. Her number was recently retired by Mississippi State (the first female athlete to have such an honor), and softball teams all across the country are honoring Alex and bringing awareness to ovarian cancer by holding a team wall sit of 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

In addition to doing the “wall sit” in honor of Alex’s life, the best way we can honor her is by being the type of great teammate that Alex taught us to be:

  1. Give Your Best Effort – Alex could have pulled the “I don’t feel good enough” card and not given everything she had, but that wasn’t Alex’s way. Despite cancer and cancer treatments, Alex Wilcox gave everything she had, every day that she had it. And that’s something each of us should give ourselves & our teammates.
  2. Support & Enthusiasm – Despite having numerous reasons to worry only about herself, Alex helped and supported her teammates. While spending the season on the bench, Alex’s constant smile and encouraging words inspired and drove her teammates to give more, be more and keep going. Alex taught us all that no matter what kind of day you’re having, your teammates can use your smile and your support – it isn’t always about you!
  3. Be Relentless – Playing college softball is hard enough but doing so while undergoing chemotherapy is almost impossible to imagine. Alex’s ability to keep up a full course load in the classroom, to keep her positive spirit while fighting for her life, and to continue practicing and playing while undergoing cancer treatments is about as close to the definition of “relentless” as you’ll ever get. Alex taught us to keep going, for your teammates and for yourself.
  4. Do the Work – And finally, Alex taught us to do the work. Alex knew that her teammates deserved her very best effort which meant she had to put in the work on the ballfield, in the weight room and in the classroom. She had a legitimate reason to take a shortcut, and yet Alex Wilcox did the work. Alex taught us that to be part of a team means you must put in the work for your skill and for your teammates.

Alex Wilcox lost her battle with cancer at the tender age of 18, and yet her spirit continues to live on and inspire others. She was a shining example of what it means to persevere, and how to be a great teammate.

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