Oct. 16, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Anthony Robles, the 2011 NCAA wrestling champion at 125 pounds who was born with only one leg, visited the U.S. Naval Academy on Monday and spoke at length to the Navy women's tennis team in a classroom at Lejeune Hall.
Robles' story is well known and as a senior at Arizona State in 2011 he had a record of 36-0 and earned All-America honors for the third straight year as a standout wrestler.
Robles spoke to the team about his inspirational story of overcoming adversity, keeping a positive outlook on life, having an 'unstoppable' attitude and turning the challenges in your life into strengths.
"To have someone like Anthony talk to the team, who is their age and who is someone they have read about and seen on TV, was just unbelievable," head coach Keith Puryear said. "The team was just hanging on his every word and you could just see that in their eyes."
"Hearing him tell his story was really inspiring," team captain Darien Sears said. "One of the biggest things we took away from it was that he decided to be the best and he didn't let anything be an excuse that would prevent him from being the best and winning the national championship."
"He also talked about putting in the extra work in the mornings or after practice to make sure nobody was outworking him," said Sears. "We spend a lot of time talking about the goals that we want to achieve, but its important to know how much effort we need to put in to work harder than everyone else, like the way Anthony did."
"Where I saw his talk affect the team the most was the next day at practice," said Puryear. "After hearing his story and how dedicated he was, the team really raised their intensity level and had the best practice of the year, and probably the best practice I can remember since being here at the Academy."
The Navy women's tennis team went 25-5 last spring and advanced to the Patriot League Championship for the third straight year. Navy will conclude its 2013 fall schedule at the ITA / USTA Atlantic Regional Championship this weekend.
Anthony Robles with the women's tennis team