Of all the attributes an athlete can possess, nothing is more important than drive.
Drive is that inner fire, that intangible that pushes us to be our very best. What is truly magical in sport is when someone comes along who has a ridiculous athletic skill set matched, or exceeded by, a remarkable drive to be the best. This is when we are treated to a watching a truly great athlete. This is Rachel Cockrell.
Cockrell is a superb volleyball player, both indoor and beach. Her ability to jump is legendary. Her dedication to training, that drive, is what separates her from her competitors.
Jeff Fisher of Elite Performance, who trains Rachel during her offseason, has seen very few athletes like Rachel.
"She is in the Top 3 gifted athletes I have ever worked with, and her work ethic may exceed her skill set," says Jeff.
"What you do in the gym will translate to the court or sand. The game should be easy compared to what I do in the gym. I love working out, I crave it," Rachel says.
Rachel is surrounded by tremendous coaches. Ken Bentley coaches her with the University of Manitoba Bisons, and Wanda Guenette is her beach volleyball mentor.
"I have to drag her off the court. She has an incredible passion and inner fire. She is a true student of the game," Wanda says.
Cockrell has an athletic skill-set very few are fortunate enough to possess. Remarkable natural ability leads to great potential but that potential can be wasted if an inner fire, or drive, doesn’t push an athlete to be his or her very best.
Rachel Cockrell is in pursuit of greatness. What will truly make her great will be her dedication, her will, her persistence, her drive.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood is co-host of The Big Show, every weekday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. on TSN 1290 radio. He writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.