This week was an unusual one for the Eagles. We all got the week of to be with our families and friends and I know all of us were very thankful for the time to rest and recover. After an intense two weeks of training in Oklahoma City, Houston, and Maryland it was awesome to spend a week relaxing.

This week I decided to take a little vacation to West Palm Beach, Florida to visit some friends. I am from Morris, Alabama, but I played club ball with the Gold Coast Hurricanes out of Miami, Florida in high school and I wanted to spend some time with some old friends. I had the opportunity to relax on the beach, eat at some amazing restaurants on the water, and go to a Miami Marlins baseball game. I absolutely loved everything I got to do!

My favorite part was the Marlins game. I got to see them play the St. Louis Cardinals so the lineups were full of All-Star MLB players like Giancarlo Stanton and Yadier Molina. It was amazing to watch these guys play. You can learn so much just from watching a game, paying attention, and observing. The MLB players play the game with so much confidence and it is awesome to see how their approaches at the plate, what they do in certain situations, and how they respond to adversity in a game. It was also really cool to see Giancarlo Stanton hit a 480-foot homerun. That is definitely something us slappers appreciate!

One of the things I often take for granted is an opportunity to rest and I feel as if a lot of other young athletes are the same way. Rest and recovery are so important in softball, especially if you play it as often as we do! It is important to work hard, but it is even more important to work smart. Listening to your body when it tells you it is time to rest is crucial to a lengthy career, so take advantage. Take the time off when your coaches give it to you because your body will come back fresher than ever!

Now that we have had the time off I am ready to get back to work with my teammates in Kansas City before we head to California for the World Cup! It sure is an exciting time to be an Eagle!

Haylie McCleney #8