6 a.m.

It’s 6 a.m. The alarm is buzzing. It’s Monday morning. time to get up. Having the weekend off is nice, but once Monday hits, it’s go time. Get up, get dressed and grab a granola bar and I’m out the door by 6:20.

6:45 a.m. 

I start in the weight room stretching and warming up for weights. Weights are an hour and half with 100 percent focus and energy. It doesn’t matter how long you have been up the night before nor how sick you feel — it’s time to work.

You have eight hours with your team per week, six of those are in the weight room. Weights are intense since getting stronger is a key to success in the off-season. We run a lot at practice, but it’s how we get better.

Our trainer is constantly counting down “25, 24, 23, 15, five more” and my personal favorite: “through the line.” Those words, those numbers are what get me through the morning run. It’s the early mornings that make you the best you can possibly be.

Having your teammates right beside you, pushing you, knowing that they are doing it too always helps.

Every Friday we max out, we wait for each other, we cheer each other on. That is what a team is about.

Most athletes tell you the off-season is harder than the season, which is 100 percent accurate. Softball season is played in the spring, which means we have four months together, go on Christmas break, and come back ready to go.

8:45 a.m.

After weights, which end at 8:30, I head to individuals with our coach at 8:45. This is all about reps and mechanics. How many quality balls can I hit in this brief time I have?

When we hit, it’s quality over quantity. My coaches always have a goal in mind before we go in. It’s a short time and we focus on specific things each day to better our overall performance.

Once 9:15 rolls around, and I am out of the cage and headed to class across campus.

9:30 a.m.

From 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. I have three classes. During these classes, I have my lunch packed and am eating during class. There is usually no time to eat in between class, so I’m always prepared for the day before weights.

2:00 p.m.

I am headed to Moberly to get treatment and rehab before practice starts at 2:45 p.m.

During the off-season, we don’t practice every day as a team due to hours. It’s usually once a week on Friday afternoons. If it’s not Friday, I will pitch from 2:45 until 3:45.

3:45 p.m.

Once pitching is over at 3:45, I head back to the trainers to get ice or any other treatment I may need. My day is over from the softball aspect.

I go back home, shower, and eat a little bit. I start my homework and head back out the door at 5:45 p.m. for Bible study or a meeting that night.

This is my day as a student athlete. Time management is key through this hectic day. I wouldn’t change any part of my day because this is my busy life, and it is part of who I am.

 

 

EDITORS NOTE:

If you are an athlete and would like to write about your experiences as a student-athlete at EKU, please e-mail robert_ristaneo1@mymail.eku.edu or come by room 325 in the Combs building.