If you take a moment to discover what Hannah’s philosophy really is, you learn more about her than you’d anticipate. “You have to work for everything you get out of life, and make no excuses along the way.”
The Nyberg name is rich with athletic talent, and Dixie High School’s volleyball/softball player, Hannah Nyberg lives up to her name. Both of her parents set the stage early being athletes themselves. Hannah’s father, Brent, played football for Dixie High, then BYU. Her mother, Jamee, was a State Champion in track and field while in high school in Montana, eventually moving to St George and competing for Pine View her junior and senior year. With older brothers who also carried on the family’s tradition of athleticism, Hannah’s competitive drive is quick, strong, and practically in her blood.
“Depending on the sport, we are putting in up to 3 hours a day for practice, and before games, we are watching film. It’s important to understand what you’re up against each time you compete.”
As the only girl in a family of five, Hannah quickly learned that she would be treated no differently than her brothers. Competing was an ordinary part of every day life. Says Hannah, “…that has really helped me with my sports too. I don’t think I would be as confident otherwise.” Hannah’s fun personality makes for an entertaining dynamic, as swimming, cooking, friends, and the outdoors make up the other side of this future high school senior.
Hannah’s mother, Jamee, recognizes the pressure that her daughter is under. Jamee feels that despite all that Hannah has gone through in and out of sports, she has handled things very well. “She seems to handle things with grace, and I really admire that about her. She has had to deal with a lot of very personal challenges at a young age and that has taught her to be tough. But her toughness does not prevent her from being kind to everyone she meets.”
As one of the only four girls among her family’s grandchildren, Hannah admits that she looks to set the precedent for her younger cousins. “Especially after watching my brothers, I just need to always try to be a good example. I want all my younger cousins to see that even though things can be hard, you can always think of those that have done it before and use that as motivation to work harder.”
Rookie of the Year Volleyball & Softball – Impact Player Softball – Honorable Mention All-State Softball – JV MVP Volleyball and Softball – High Honor Roll 3yrs
Remaining academically eligible to play does not only pertain to the high school level for Dixie’s athletes; their goal is to keep them eligible through college as well. The student counselors at Dixie, work to assist all student-athletes to stay on the right course, particularly those who wish to move beyond the high school level with their favored sport(s). NCAA eligibility is also addressed. Hannah knows where she stands academically for this upcoming year. “They [school counselors] really work with us to make sure we have the right classes to qualify for athletic scholarships and it is nice, one less thing to worry about.” However, navigating the NCAA requirements, demands a significant amount of planning. “You either met the qualifications and requirements or you didn’t. No in-between.”
Math, History, and Language Arts are considered to be Hannah’s strongest subjects. Approaching senior year, Hannah acknowledges that decisions regarding life after high school are nearing. “I’m not sure what I want to do yet professionally, but I know that this is the year to figure it out. I definitely want to play either volleyball or softball at the college level, and I will play with whomever will have me. So, sports are part of the plan for sure.”
Hannah has a strong bond with her teammates, and is full of smiles when she speaks on their impact in her life. “They are all very amazing. We get along real well together. It’s so much fun playing with them all. They are like my sisters.” When discussing her fellow team members, a clear leadership quality can be identified in Hannah’s voice. You hear a mature, experienced athlete who understands the importance of taking nothing for granted and appreciating each opportunity as it comes.
Taking 4th in State this previous year, Hannah and her Flyer sisters have come very close, despite the state tournament’s outcome. “It was really cool. We were really playing for each other and actually got further than I think any of us expected. But it was incredible playing and competing with each other like that. That will always be a good memory for me.”
Hannah was one of the few Dixie athletes to start Varsity (for both volleyball and softball) as a freshman, and was consequently presented with amazing opportunities. At times during her freshman year, Hannah would play both JV and Varsity games on the same day. This naturally meant not only more playing time, but also a greater likelihood that she would continue to excel in her ability. On top of that, the year-round weekend tournaments, and it’s no surprise that Hannah has become as dedicated as she proves to be.
For many athletes, their sport influences their lives on various levels, and Hannah is no different. “Sports have been a way for me to get my mind off of those things that do not really matter. You learn to work through being tired, and dealing with loss helps you understand that when life gets hard, you can work through it all.”
The greatest benefits that sports can provide athletes is arguably, the life lessons that may be learned. And for those athletes, like Hannah, who understand this, great success is inevitable. Hannah says, “Like in life, if you want something, you have to work for it. Nothing is ever going to be given to you. If you want good grades, that good job, or anything else, you have to put in the time and work. The physical you will forget over time, but the mental aspects you will always have with you.” • HSSI