Leading up to the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women's World Championship (19-and-under), December 6-17, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, USA Softball Junior Women's National Team members Cheyenne Cordes, an outfielder from Fairfield, Calif., and Chelsea Goodacre, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., will be blogging biweekly for USASoftball.com.
November 10, 2011Goodacre: Student-athlete role 'not for the weak at heart'
If I had to describe what takes up the majority of my college student-athlete time at the University of Arizona, I'm pretty sure it would be: waking up early and lifting weights, rush to class, study, practice, remember to eat, studying some more...well you get the idea. It is certainly not for the weak at heart, but for us athletes, who eat, breathe, and sleep sports, this is perfect!
I think that life for student-athletes at any school is intense, but there is no question that the student-athletes at the University of Arizona have a lot of demands upon them! The time commitment involved with our sport eats up most of the time that other students have to do things like socialize, sleep, watch TV, be involved with campus clubs, etc. There is also a constant pressure to stay on top of your school work - which is actually a great thing because it would be easy to get behind in classes when our team is in the middle of the season. Our team is required to attend all of our classes and study hall for the freshmen and some upperclassmen. The schedule sounds impossible but, in truth, our softball team's support staff; our coaches, academic advisors, tutors, nutritionists, athletic directors, and trainers - make our lives very manageable.
The coolest thing about being an athlete at a large school is the amount of fan support! It is awesome to walk around campus during the day wearing my softball shirts; shorts and having everyone know that I AM A SOFTBALL ATHLETE! And it has been a huge adrenaline rush to play games in front of a large fan base. We are blessed to have very loyal and dedicated fans, which rarely ever miss a game.
Hands down, the best part about being on the softball team is my teammates. We spend a part of everyday together and I consider all of my teammates my sisters. Some of my favorite memories so far are simply sitting in the locker room together and talking about practice, games or just about anything in life that comes up. To me, that’s how you really begin to form a bond with teammates.
I don't have any crazy stories yet, but I think the coolest experience so far is my first college game home run. I can remember looking at the pitch coming in and the ball looked HUGE! I knew it was over the fence from the minute I heard it come off my bat! I can remember seeing it go over the fence. I remember running around the bases, trying to act like it was “No Big Deal” but I was on Cloud 9! Then as I rounded 3rd base, I got “THE hand shake” from Coach, I always wondered what that would be like – and it’s pretty special. I also remember looking up into our stands and hearing 2,000, plus fans in the stadium clap. It was surreal.
Our USA National Softball team recently captured the GOLD medal with a perfect 9-0 record at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico with a team of mostly new players to USA Softball. I can only imagine what that felt like and means to every one of those players. As a softball athlete myself, winning the Gold Medal for the USA is one of the highest accomplishments any softball player dreams of achieving –and these players did it! Way to GO, Team USA! I wish I could have been there to see it and cheer for every one of them.
Now it’s our turn. The USA Jr National team will be competing at the ISF IX Jr. Women's World Championship in Cape Town, South Africa on December 6-17, 2011. Our goal is to bring home the Gold!
Until next time,