Sept. 6, 2000
Tallahassee, FL –
Rachael Watkin has been one of the most reliable players in the history of Florida State soccer. She has started every game she has appeared in and is currently nine starts away from setting the all-time starts record for Seminole soccer.
“I came here as a recruited walk-on,” recalls Rachael. “Now I may get the opportunity to set the school record for the most starts and appearances.”
Rachael is one of four seniors who are still on the team from the class that entered Florida State in 1996. She has been through a lot since she began her FSU career and has seen so many changes.
“I’ve been through all the coaching changes and this program has turned around so much since I’ve been here,” Rachael remembers. “Our previous coaching staff was made up of a lot of great people but coach Baker has really started to turn things around.”
Rachael has also seen changes in herself since she entered FSU as a freshman four years ago. The opportunity to meet people from all over the world is one of the many positives Rachael attributes to her time at Florida State.
“I think I have matured a lot over the last four years,” said Rachael. “I’ve learned a lot about other people and how to deal with people in a better manner. I think that when you are in high school, you don’t get a chance to see what else is out there. College has opened my eyes to a lot of different things. Soccer has allowed me to meet people from different countries and different cities. I definitely realize there is a lot more out there now.”
Rachael also thinks the opportunity to travel is a major benefit of playing college sports and she is thankful for all the places she has been.
“I love traveling and getting the opportunity to see all these different campuses,” Rachael said. “Its really neat getting a chance to see so many cities and different environments. We don’t always get the chance to see a lot of the cities we travel to because we are playing and trying to get ready for our match but you do still get the opportunity to experience the different atmosphere at other schools.”
Student athletes are often under so much pressure but there are perks. Rachael thinks it is really cool when people recognize her but with the recognition comes responsibility. One of the main obstacles is learning to manage your time between school, practice, games, working out and treatment.
Rachael sees so many positives things that have happened during her time at FSU due to being a part of team sports. The friendships she has made is one of the main things she will always cherish.
“I’ve made a lot of friends and met so many people,” said Rachael. “There are some people on the team that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life. We spend so much time together and that has helped us bond as a team. Soccer brought us together but we’re friends because we like each other and not because of soccer.”
Like most athletes, Rachael does miss her family but she’s excited that they are going to be up here every other weekend this year because their schedule is so much better. She also feels closer to her family now that her younger brother has started school at FSU as a freshman. The two spend a lot of time together and Rachael is teaching him how to do his laundry.
Rachael says it also helps when her teammates become her extended family. All of her best friends are on the soccer team and the whole team gets along unbelievably well. She always hang out with her teammates and she believes the team is a lot closer than they have ever been.
As Rachael approaches the conclusion to her college career, she is not only finishing her playing days but she is also on schedule to get her degree this fall.
“I’m getting my degree in nutrition and fitness but I’m not sure if that is what I want to do with the rest of my life,” Rachael said. “I would like to get my masters in a field that is health-related but I don’t know where I want to go yet . I would like to be around soccer for a couple more years. I don’t think I want to coach for the rest of my life but I do want to stay around the game.”