Nicholas Spooner, Staff Writer
First-year athletes have to make a big adjustment from high school to college.
Not only do the student athletes have to adapt to the college atmosphere and way of doing things, but they also have to become a productive member of an athletic team.
Most teams have not only one season, but two seasons. The first is the regular season and the other is an unofficial offseason where the team is allowed to train together under the supervision of the coaching staff. With there being two seasons of a sport, it requires a new level of commitment from freshman athletes, something that first-year athletes are not used to.
For the majority of first-year student athletes, adjusting to the collegiate level can be difficult for some, but with the help professors, coaches and friends, they quickly get acclimated to their new environment.
Madeline Krecidlo is a field hockey player who got the opportunity to play in a few matches this year.
“My first season was a great experience, and I made lots of friends,” she said. “This season was the highlight of my year. Some things I didn’t expect from my first season was how much the intensity of the game would change. Compared to high school field hockey, college field hockey is a lot better to play and watch.”
For most athletes, joining a sport at a collegiate level is a very exciting and nervous time. Both Chris Rosato, a soccer player, and Krecidlo experienced this in their first seasons.
“The speed of play definitely caught me off guard,” Rosato said. “When I went into my first game, on my first touch, I panicked because everything was happening so fast that I gave the ball away.”
Relationships with members of the team is very important. The better connection an athlete has to his or her teammates builds confidence and makes the athlete more active in a game and during practice.
Josh Schwaeber is a soccer player who was able to impact his team this year with his time he spent on the field.
“Although we didn’t get the results that we wanted during the season, I had a blast with the team on and off the field,” Schwaeber said. “Chemistry between teammates makes all the difference in attitude for the whole team, especially for first years that have nerves coming in.”
A lot of first-year athletes come into the preseason with a lot of nerves. Being the youngest and least experienced member of a team can lead to difficulties.
“Adapting to the difference at the collegiate level was very difficult at first,” Krecidlo said. “I was the freshman, so I was very timid and felt like if I messed up anything my team wouldn’t think I should be there.”
Schwaeber had a different experience adapting to the collegiate level. He is 5 feet 5 inches tall, and he believes that this actually gave him an advantage to begin his college career.
“I thought I adapted to the collegiate level pretty well,” he explained. “Knowing my height, I have always had to play against bigger and stronger kids so adapting to the collegiate level was a little tougher than high school.”