Skip to main content

Angela Teeple main photo August 22

A Toms River Regional Schools student-athlete hypes up her tennis teammates in the crowd during a question-and-answer session with Angela Teeple at High School North Aug. 22.

'Grit, grace, and gratitude'

Aug. 22, 2023-- "When you want to make a difference you find a way no matter what," Angela Teeple writes on her website for All In, the apparel company she founded as a means to promote inclusion and give back. Today, Teeple continued to give back, providing an inspirational talk at High School North for female athletes representing all three district high schools.

The event was organized by Toms River Regional Schools Athletic Director Ted Gillen who, in observing Teeple's appearance at the "Women in Sports Day" Shore Conference event, said he "found her discussions and presentations exceptionally helpful and informative to the student athlete."

Angela Teeple and Ted Gillen

Angela Teeple and Ted Gillen

The auditorium was packed with female high school athletes, who took time from their busy fall sports schedules-- soccer, field hockey, tennis, and more-- to take part in such a discussion.

Teeple spoke about battling through adversity to achieve her athletic and academic dreams, from parents who battled addiction and weren't there for her, to a rare medical condition that required multiples surgeries annually, to being bullied and underestimated. Her perseverance and fortitude, however, led to great success as an athlete in field hockey and softball, in college at Ball State after being unrecruited in high school, and through a coaching career that exceeded two decades, and which she boldly left behind to start her apparel line and public speaking career.

"The three words that matter most to me," Teeple said, "are grit, grace, and gratitude."

Students were invited to the front for fun question-and-answer sessions, and were provided T-shirts for participation. Much of the focus of the discussion and exercises focused not on physical athleticism, but the mental aspect.

"Part of grit," Teeple explained, "is having the courage to say that you're not OK."

Angela Teeple speaks at HSN auditorium

Teeple acknowledged the considerable challenges student athletes-- particularly female student athletes-- face, including the balance of school and sports, family life, comparison, and social media. But she assured them that positive relationships are the key to a healthy state of mind, and that each of them had an ally in her.

"My superpower," she said, "is turning pain into purpose."

It was a moving morning at the high school, one which no doubt impacted many young women throughout the district. Teeple herself acknowledged that she had never spoken to a crowd as large as the one that filled the HSN auditorium, and she spent time afterwards meeting with Toms River athletes, taking photos, and forging connections.

"Enjoy this moment," Teeple had advised at the beginning of her discussion. It was clear students had heeded her message as they filed out of the auditorium, smiling, venturing back to their fields and courts of play.

Latest Stories