Tamara ‘T’ Statman has accomplished a lot for a 23-year-old. The Scottsdale native was a high school All-American before joining the Arizona softball program. At UofA she saw her role on the team gradually increase, culminating in a College World Series appearance as a senior. Statman is also a member of the Israeli Women’s National Softball team.
Statman’s list of achievements has grown longer this fall: she recently published her first book. The Real Deal Student Success Kit is Statman’s handbook for aspiring college athletes. The book—an anecdote mixed with a how-to—is intended to serve as a resource for middle and high schoolers who want a glimpse into the daily life of a Division I student-athlete.
Here’s a brief summary:
This book goes into the various topics that play into the day to day life of a college athlete. The stories and advice were developed after four years of college athletics and what lessons can be taught from that experience. There are eight million students who participate in high school athletics. However, there are little to no popular anecdotal resources about what it is like to play at the college level. In the Real Deal Student-Athlete Success Kit, future student-athletes are given the resources to help them start out on the right foot. Readers will not only be exposed to potential experiences, but expectations while being a student-athlete on and off the field/court/pool.
Statman shared some insights behind writing the book, which you can purchase on Amazon here.
What was the driving inspiration for writing your book and how long did the writing process take you?
The driving inspiration for writing this book was a conversation I had with a fellow Arizona Alumni about how unique the student-athlete experience is. After doing some research, I realized there was no book like this on the market to truly tell the ins and outs of being a student-athletes. Most books talking about the college-athlete experience are recruiting or mental toughness and a few memoirs.
I started throwing ideas down for the book before the widespread pandemic in about January. When quarantine hit, I had the time to devote to writing the book and it took me a few months to really get all my ideas down.
What did you learn about yourself over the course of the writing and publishing the book?
Writing a book is something I have always wanted to do. I learned that I can do it, but just like all things, it takes a lot of time. Before publishing, I reached out to tons of agents and publishing companies and I realized how much work it is to make proposals for these entities. Ultimately, after many rejections, it was suggested to me by a publisher to self-publish because of how niche my book is. I took the advice and here we are.
Why is it important that student athletes write or speak openly about their college experiences?
It is extremely important for student-athletes to be open about their college experiences. There is a ton that goes on behind the scenes that the general public does not see; good and bad. There are reasons that changes get made to the college structure and that is because student-athletes use their voices.
What do you hope aspiring student athletes take away from your story?
I hope that aspiring student-athletes take away a whole rounded experience from my book. You can do it all if you are smart with your time, but you have to commit yourself to it.
Can you share a favorite memory or two from your time as a softball player at UofA?
My favorite sports memory at UofA is either knocking in the winning run my freshman year vs. Tennessee to upset them at their regional or going to the Women’s College World Series in 2019.
Lastly, what are your next steps professionally and as a softball player? Do you plan to continue to compete for the Israeli national team?
Softball wise, I plan to play for the Israeli National Team this summer at the European Championships. Professionally, I have some options in the works so we will have to see with that.