Myriah Stockman: Positive Vibes Bouncing Your Way
by Dick DornanSpecial to PepperdineSports.com
"Attitude is everything."- Author Unknown
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. -Winston Churchill
"Negativity is wasted energy." -Myriah Stockman
MALIBU, Calif. - It's a late afternoon practice and the Waves women's soccer team is running extra wind sprints to be in the best condition possible in anticipation for a long, successful season ahead. As many of the women catch their breath and fight off the pain, sophomore Myriah Stockman gathers herself and walks to the finish line to cheer on her fellow comrades. She yells, encourages, motivates, and pushes her teammates to believe in themselves and overcome any self-doubt. Stockman refuses to accept negativity or mediocrity. It's all about having the right attitude, being positive, and having the will to succeed.
"Negativity is wasted energy. If we don't make it, let's do it again," said Stockman. "Continuing to be positive will breed success. I made a decision to be positive in my life. Put a smile on your face."
She is a 5'4" defensive midfielder who has the demeanor of a senior captain and the infectious personality of happy-go-lucky freshman. Last season, Stockman led the team in minutes with 1830 out of a possible 1854. She was one of only two Waves, the other being graduate Emily Wynne, to appear and start in all 20 matches. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-WCC Freshman Team and All-WCC Honorable Mention.
Tim Ward, in his 12th season as head coach of the Waves, sees the value of Stockman's presence and leadership on the team.
"She is getting better every day as a soccer player. Regardless of how she does in her career here, her magnetic personality and enthusiasm for the game is awesome," said Ward. "In all my years as a head coach, I've never had anyone with this much enthusiasm. She is authentic and not trying to pretend. She elevates the teams' energy day in and day out and is very team-centered. It truly is part of her character."
Her role on the team as a skilled defensive player is important for the success of the Waves this year. Maybe even more vital is her role as the "loud, happy one who encourages and supports my teammates." Having a teammate like Stockman only enhances the unity and cohesion of the team. Her love for her teammates and passion for the game is a strength for the Waves and one that other teammates should follow.
"My personality and attitude creates energy and builds self-confidence for others," stated Stockman.
It's an attitude that all head coaches would love to have on their teams. Pepperdine was 9-9-2 in 2008 and looks to improve upon its 3rd place finish in the West Coast Conference. Stockman feels this year's squad, off to a 4-1 start, has the potential to be something special.
"There are great and wonderful things in store for us," said Stockman. "We just need to continue to work hard and remain positive."
There is that key word again, 'positive'. She credits her club coach back in Sandy, Utah, where she grew up, as a major reason why she is the "positive, enthusiastic, loud, vocal leader" that is evident during soccer games and at the majority of Wave sporting events on campus. Stockman is proud to be a member of RIPTIDE, Pepperdine's student-body spirit organization. She attends many of the various sporting events on campus. She is boisterous, supportive, energetic, and extremely positive for her fellow Waves.
"They (Pepperdine athletes) invest so much time as an athlete that they deserve to be supported," Stockman said. "People should recognize their dedication and work ethic."
She proudly wears Pepperdine's official school colors of orange and blue. There are even times when she will wear those colors with "Brighton High School" embroidered on the clothing. Her high school in Utah has the same colors as Pepperdine.
"I will wear anything blue and orange," Stockman stated. "School spirit can be contagious. It shows unity and people should come together and support the Pepperdine community. This is a small school that is close-knit."
During her freshman year, Stockman took a First-Year Seminar class with Mark Davis, Dean of Student Affairs at Pepperdine. It is there that Davis took notice of Stockman's personality and saw the special qualities in a unique and exceptional student-athlete.
"She was a delight to have in class. She won people over with her friendliness and love for life," said Davis. "Myriah has a passion for life, not just in sports. She always shows genuine interest in other people and she represents the highest ideals of the school."
Stockman has brought her positive vibes from Utah to the west coast. The recruiting process was a bit of a grind and struggle for Stockman. She never felt completely accepted by a school until she visited Pepperdine and discovered that the soccer program was "accepting, loving, and had awesome girls." She found her niche and her experience thus far at Pepperdine has been wonderful.
"It was better for me to leave home and grow as a person," said Stockman. "I gained appreciation for my family being away. But I love it here."
Her Mormon faith is very dear to her heart. At Pepperdine, fellow classmates have accepted her for who she is and not otherwise. Davis agrees that her faith plays a strong role in her development as a person and her positive outlook on life.
"Faith is important to her. Something is really driving her to be who she is," Davis said. "She is a very gifted student- athlete who is well-rounded, humble, and who puts her heart into everything."
Her positive attitude and enthusiastic personality will benefit the women's soccer program for several years to come.
"She is one of those girls in a long line of great Waves," said Ward. "The team embraces her and she is the bedrock of our enthusiasm. She is an awesome ambassador for our program."
But it won't stop there. Just look around at different sporting events and you can count on Stockman leading the cheers with that infectious positive attitude as the Waves roll on to victory.