FGCU golfer says several activity involvements improves her as an athlete

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
FGCU sophomore Haley Yerxa is a member of the Eagle golf team, a black belt in Taekwondo, trained in seven musical instruments and a software engineering undergrad at the university. Credit: WINK News.

Most athletes play multiple sports to help them develop and improve as a player in their main competitive sport. Meanwhile, a student golfer at FGCU splits her time between the course, martial arts, computer coding and classical music to develop her craft.

FGCU sophomore Haley Yerxa, a member of the Eagles golf team, seems to worry less about piling on too much to her plate and simply goes after her passions instead.

“It’s something that’s really cool,” women’s golf coach Sara Trew said of Yerxa. “As far as student athletes go, she’s probably got the most extensive background just between music and other sports that we’ve ever had.”

Credit: WINK News.

Yerxa looks at all her extracurricular activities as positives and not stresses to her daily life, and she even looks at it as a way to help her as a golfer. Yerxa is trained in seven different musical instruments.

“Music lets me not think about anything else but what I’m doing,” Yerxa said. “I get kind of lost in it. I guess you could say, I know, that’s a bit of a cliché.”

Credit: shared with WINK News.

Yerxa also focuses Taekwondo; so much so, she has achieve a black belt.

“I really enjoyed doing Taekwondo,” Yerxa said. “And it’s always a cool thing to be able to tell people that you got your black belt.”

As a software engineering major, the term code breaking sounds like fun rather than an impossible task.

“Universities and organizations will run events like hackathons,” Yerxa said. “That’s really fun because you get to collaborate with some other software engineers and computer scientists … It’s just really fun to have that creative license.”

Credit: Shared with WINK News.

After undergrad, Yerxa wants to get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering and then pursue robotic technologies, most likely within the surgical industry. In the meantime, Yerxa doesn’t show any sign that her current obligations are anything but exactly what she sees for herself. In fact, she sees it as the gateway to becoming a better golfer.

“Golf, you’ve got to be out here for a long time if you want to get better,” Yerxa said. “You’ve got to be practicing a lot, and I think that playing instruments, having the discipline from martial arts, having various different sports, and having to really manage my time has definitely contributed to being able to be a college athlete.”

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