Athlete Feature: Tanvi Batra

Jorge Espinoza-Gonzalez, Features Editor

Soccer is among the most commonly watched sports ever. In fact, it is so popular among spectators that events such as the World Cup are one of the most anticipated sports events, giving the Olympics a run for their money. However, like most spectators, I never wondered what exactly the athletes did off the field. Did you?

One exceptional soccer player, right here on campus, is Tanvi Batra.

Batra is a current senior on the Girls Varsity Soccer team. She has been playing for around twelve years and, although she added that she has played numerous sports in the past, strongly prefers soccer.

Batra played recreationally until 6th grade and still remembers the first time she went to Club try-outs, an experience that she believes is very unlikely to forget. Batra believes that soccer, which she described as “a community-oriented and focus-building experience,” has guided her to her current point in life and she couldn’t be more grateful.

“I always wondered how different my life would be if I had chosen softball or basketball,” added Batra.

She continued to talk about the importance of routine and continuity, believing that “[soccer] becomes a part of you and your personality.”

I asked Batra if she remembered her first win, anxious to see what she remembered after playing for so long.

“I really don’t remember my first win because I’ve played from such a young age, but I do know that, at that age, winning didn’t matter. The best wins were the orange slices and the friendships,” responded Batra.

Personally, I was curious to discover what exactly guided her towards soccer. Was it the teammates? The game itself? To my surprise, the reason behind her choice was family.

“Although my dad never played sports growing up, he made sure that my brother and I would get to try all of them…when I chose soccer, [my dad] spent nights training me, taking me to extra practices, and supporting me through every step of my soccer career,” answered Batra.

Now, I was intrigued. I proceeded to ask Batra what her biggest challenge was, both on the field and off it. She told me that her composure and confidence had always been a challenge to maintain, but that the sport helps her through dedication and sacrifice, both physical and time-wise. I asked her if dedication and sacrifice were morals that she valued.

“Of course. Those are a couple things that soccer has taught me. But I think the most important [value] that I learned through soccer was progress. The satisfaction of knowing that hard work pays off motivates and inspires me to push harder…ultimately creating a cycle of success.”

Batra added that she also reinforced these values and morals through other extracurriculars and leadership positions, most notably, the Speech and Debate Team and Seniors of Merit and Work.

To wrap her interview up, I asked Batra her plans for the future. Did she want to pursue soccer as a career? In college? She informed me that although she doesn’t plan on playing soccer for a college, she has plans to do it recreationally, “going back to my roots.”

In the future, Batra hopes to seek the things she couldn’t, like physics, astrophysics, and teaching.

“For the rest of my life, I hope to continue helping, teaching, and mentoring people because aid is a trait that naturally comes to me. And my passion lies in the world of physics and astrophysics, a realm I wouldn’t mind studying my whole life.”

So perhaps the next time you see Batra’s name as a headliner, it may be Tanvi Batra, the physicist. Or, as Batra casually commented that she would like to get “into coaching or even managing a team,” your kids might call her Coach Batra.