When asked to summarize himself in ten words, senior Chris Lai said, “Whatever I’m trying to do, I give it my best.” Lai has learned how to manage his time between his double life as an outstanding athlete and an extracurricular maniac.
“After I get home from practice or games, I remind myself that I have to get to work on my other things,” Lai said. Because of his experience with juggling the different aspects of his life, Lai has officially mastered the art of time management. Though currently a senior, he still remembers the confusions and difficulties of having to adapt to high school as a freshman. “I’d advise underclassmen athletes to focus on only a few things they are really into so that they can give the time needed to everything else,” he said.
Coach Trevor Warner describes how Lai’s disposition explains his success. “He is competitive by nature, and that’s why he’s successful. He doesn’t speak often, but when he does, he speaks with passion,” Warner said.
According to teammate Nana Owusu, a senior, Lai gives useful hints on the soccer field to help his team flourish. “Chris provides teammates with constructive criticism because he knows what they and the team are capable of,” Owusu said. Regarding improvements, Lai has developed most on handling his nerves and anxieties on the field. “I’ve become more comfortable and less nervous when I’m in a game,” Lai said.
Lai is not only a champion on the field; he’s also involved in numerous other extracurriculars. He plays the violin for regional and all-state orchestras. When he is not showing off his musical talents or playing under the lights, Lai helps victims of Alzheimer’s at a local nursing home. He organizes activities for the patients,brings them food and converses with them. “I learned it is good to see others working to help older people with diseases like Alzheimer’s,” Lai said. Owusu said he sees little difference between “school Chris” and “soccer Chris.” “He’s still very intelligent and likes to joke around a lot, but he acts more like a leader on the field,” Owusu said.
“Chris is a player that manages academics and athletics very well,” Warner said “He is eager to please his coaches and teammates and puts our team goals ahead of his individual needs.”