My Athlete’s Wanted Story – Joyce Wellhoefer

The youngest of 4 kids in my family, I was extremely active in sports! I grew up shooting hoops in the barn with my brother on our family’s farm. I was responsible for a lot of chores on the farm and would sometimes get help from my softball teammates so I could be finished in time to get to our games. I played as often as I could, but never thought I would have the chance to do so in college. None of my siblings had attended college and there were very limited opportunities at that time for women in sports.

During high school, I lettered in volleyball, basketball and track. I spent my summers playing softball (after my chores were done of course!) because it was not offered as a sport in high school. Late into my senior year, I realized that I may have an opportunity to attend college. A recruiter from a state school in Wisconsin came to our high school and invited students to come on campus for a visit. Being only an “average” student, I was not all that interested in getting a college degree. However, I had not given much thought to what kind of work I would do after high school. I qualified for financial aid and decided to attend college. I was most excited at the prospect of continuing my sports career. That was definitely my main motivation for going to college.

I had no idea the impact that college sports would have on my life. I learned to manage my time better and became more interested in the classroom and “student” aspect of being a student-athlete. Doors were opened for me to travel overseas and compete with Christian softball and basketball teams. After graduation, I went to Latin America, Europe and even played semi-pro basketball in Vienna, Austria. I have made friends and contacts through sports that I never would have otherwise made.

Being a part of these amazing teams was a great motivation for me to get into coaching. I went on to get my master’s degree as a graduate assistant and coached for over 20 years in various sports. I have had the privilege of giving back and helping other families as a direct result of my experiences and fortunes of being a student-athlete and coach. Being involved in organized sports has been one of the most enriching parts of my life.

Now, as a recruiting coach with NCSA, I have been able to continue my life-long involvement with sports. I thoroughly enjoy playing a role in the recruiting story of hundreds of current student-athletes. Looking back at my days on the family farm, I never dreamed all of this would be possible!

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