D1Softball, through the D1 Players Society, has partnered with Howard infielder, Camille Navarro to give you an inside look at how she became the first Division l athlete in her family.
Softball was a big part of my life growing up. At first, I didn’t realize how important it would end up being – I just wanted to play because it was fun and I liked the girls on my team. But now, it has brought me the best relationships that I have ever had, a college education and many blessings in between.
My first real memory with sports is playing in the backyard with my younger brother, Hector. We played baseball, basketball, dodgeball and other games. We would get so competitive with everything we did, sometimes to the point of getting hurt. I think those moments in the backyard with him built my competitive edge up and not wanting to give up until I got something right. Those are still things that I carry in my college career.
As I went through school, my parents wanted to put us in organized sports. I remember being hesitant at first. I was nervous about taking my moments from the backyard to the court, dance floor or the field. However, as soon as I played my first game, I loved the feeling of camaraderie and friendship with the other kids. I looked forward to going to practice or games every week. It became my favorite thing to do and I haven’t stopped playing sports ever since.
I started in a rec-ball league, and when I turned 12, I started travel ball. Once travel ball started, it got more competitive, which I liked. When those tournaments got more serious, it meant more. I have always valued the sports that I played because although I wasn’t always the loudest on the field, I wanted to do whatever I could for my team to win. Softball showed me the importance of a team, working together, pushing each other all towards the same goal. It’s hard to describe the feeling of accomplishing something when you know your whole team wanted it so badly. That’s what I strove toward feeling throughout my time in softball growing up.
The biggest influence on my softball journey is no doubt my dad. He still has one of the biggest impacts on my journey outside of my coaches. He would do anything for me to succeed, but he couldn’t be out there on the field to help me and that killed him. I remember telling him that he had to believe in me. Our relationship has never been stronger since then. To this day, when I feel anxious about a game or tournament, he’s the one that I call to calm me down. He relates everything to a baseball game. He said he thinks it makes life simpler. His favorite quote to tell me is, “Winners win, hit bombs”. For him, he just means to go out and give it your all and you will win.
My family is made up of baseball & softball players. My grandpa played professionally in Mexico and when I was younger, he would share moments from when he played and it made me realize how much the game meant to me. However, I am proud that I am the first athlete in my family to play at the Division l level.