Written by junior outfielder Alyssa Gardea
My past two years here at UConn have been quite an experience. Leaving California, moving across the country for school was a huge adjustment. It helped me become independent and find out who I truly am. I have experienced multiple changes in the classroom and on the softball field. This year, in regards to the softball program, Coach Mac said from day one, “we are all sponges, we are all here to learn things from each other, some things may be different or we may not be used to it, but we are here to adapt and create a championship program.”
With new coaches, it is similar to experiencing my freshman year all over again. Knowing that the coaches do not know my capabilities has made me work harder than ever. The most unreal thing is that I realize I only have two years left, and I feel like I haven’t come close to accomplishing the goals I have set for myself. I know I have so much potential and room to get better, but only two years left to do so.
Our coaches bring the term ‘fun’ to a whole other level. Being able to enjoy practice yet still get a lot of aspects to the game covered makes me excited to go to practice. Coach Mac emphasizes the word ‘GET TO’ all the time. We GET TO go to practice, we GET TO hit today, we GET TO practice and play the game we love every single day. Everyone besides the freshmen know what a struggle it has been and know we want the absolute best for our seniors and those who will graduate after them. We have realized how blessed we truly are, because most people do not use the phrase ‘GET TO’ in the honoring way that we do.
Fall ball was all about adjusting and adapting as a team. I am adapting by learning to be accountable to for myself and my teammates. Learning to hold each other accountable shows that you not only want it for yourself, but more importantly you want it for your teammates. I want nothing more than for my teammates to know that I want them to get better every day. I have COMMITTED to this team; giving every bit I have every day. Even if I feel I only have 80% that day, I give 100% of that 80%. Adapting as a junior, I have learned to change gears as quick as I can and that not giving your all will not be an excuse. Ending fall ball about a week ago, adapting isn’t the vocabulary anymore. As a team we know the expectations: to raise the standards.