McPherson High School’s Mailya Paine has a wide variety of interests. She plays volleyball and softball, as well as doing weightlifting and being involved in art and band. Softball is her favorite activity especially because for Paine, it is something special to her family.
“What interested me in softball was my entire family played it and I wanted to continue the tradition,” she said.
As any athlete can attest, once you’ve invested so much time with your teammates, you tend to become like a family. This is one of Paine’s favorite things about playing softball.
“What I love most about softball is pitching and diving in the outfield, along with my teammates as 12 sisters I now have,” she said. “The friends I have made there that are now like family to me.”
Paine also values her relationship with her coaches, who she says motivate her to do her best and encourage her along the way. “The person who inspires me in softball is my coach,” she said. “He always pushes me to do better and always gives me confidence.”
Being part of a team takes trust and sometimes even overcoming personal doubts. This is a lesson that Paine has learned over the years through softball. “In softball I’ve had to overcome not being confident and had to learn how to always be confident in myself and the others on my team,” she said.
After high school, Paine’s plans include continuing her education in college and studying art therapy for students.
“I want to help them overcome what they are going through with art and prove they can do anything they set their mind to,” she said.