Into the Swing of Things

Championships are won in the offseason, or at least that is what can be gathered after talking to three of Hope’s softball players. According to Halle Carpenter (’22), diamonds aren’t really a girl’s best friend, but her teammates are. It is their chemistry makes all the difference once they get on the field. She revealed, “During this offseason, we’ve practiced as well as done a lot of team bonding. Having a good team chemistry is something our team thrives on; building relationships with each other is crucial during the offseason.” It is this team chemistry that Krista Carter (’23) is counting on in addition to the team’s exceptional work ethic to help them fulfill their collective goals. She said, “My personal goal is to be there for the team. They are a big part of my life, and I want to make sure every practice and every game I walk off the field happy with what we have accomplished. Our goals as a team are to live in the moment and take everything step by step. We won’t be able to make it to the national championship if we aren’t willing to work and get better day by day.”

With the teasingly warm days of winter hinting at an early spring, Arinn King (’22) is eager to be involved and display a high level of dedication. However, according to the underclassman, the enthusiasm started back when she was being recruited and ultimately led to her coming to Hope. She said, “I was so intrigued about everyone’s commitment. The coaches care so much about every single player, no matter what your role, and make sure this team is as good as it can be. The players care about each other and about winning. They work so hard every day to get better even when no one is watching. I just loved the passion that came from this team, and I wanted to be a part of it.” This sentiment was echoed by Carter, who stated, “I was very nervous for my life to change. Going from high school to college was a big step. When I came to Hope, I was welcomed in by my coaches right away. I love all my coaches and teammates as they are the ones who push me every day to become better. Coach V., the softball head coach, always says that it’s much bigger than just the game. This idea reminds me of being a part of a family and being a part of something much bigger than just softball.” 

Between the team’s commitment to success and their bonding, it is of little surprise that the girls have big goals for the upcoming season. However, one of the greatest challenges many collegiate athletes face is the reality that they are a student on top of being an athlete. King’s revelation on how best to manage this workload was, “You learn quickly that your social life takes a back seat, but during the season, that doesn’t really matter because you are surrounded by your best friends all the time.” Carter similarly noted how her habits have changed in the past year to adapt to such a time demanding schedule, saying, ” Last year, I was very nervous with my workload and playing a sport but only because I procrastinate a lot. Coming in, my coach set up “study tables” every Monday night, and freshmen would go to do homework together. This always pushed me to get work done, and it helped me get to know my teammates and coaches. I learned how to balance my work and get good grades. I have now grown to become more comfortable with school and being an athlete. This semester I was able to push myself into taking 18 credits, because I know I have the support from my coaches and teammates when times get tough.”

Despite the fact that the spring is still a few months away, the softball team waits eagerly for the snow to melt so they can get into the swing of things—literally. Carpenter kept it short and sweet when describing how the girls plan to prepare for all of their highly sought after accolades. She affirmed, “I think we all know what to expect and the work we have to put in to achieve our goals.”

 



'Into the Swing of Things' has no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.