Hello, friends! It's been a snowy week here at the Woods. I hope you enjoyed your snow days (if any) as much as the students on campus did! I've seen snowball fights, snow angels, and snow drifts and we can't wait to see the sun again!
Today, I would like to share with you more of what it's like to be an athlete at William Woods University. As you know, I'm on the women's basketball team here at the Woods. I'm here to give you the inside scoop of what it is like to play on Coach Chapla's team and specifically what game day is like!
Game Days are probably the most exciting days as an athlete. We scout teams and practice the game plan all week until we finally get the chance to show 'em what we're made of! On our team, we begin the day with a shoot-around practice. At shoot-around, we do a couple warm up shooting drills to get our muscles awake and moving, shoot free throws, and go over what we might see the opposing team might do that day. When we reach the end of our short shoot-around, we play the best game ever -- TEN, FIVE, ONE! In ten, five, one, we split into two teams and each team has to make 10 free throws, 5 three point shots, and 1 half court shot. The half court shot wins the game, and EVERYONE wants to make it! We get so competitive, and it's always really exciting when our teammates make their first one!
After shoot-around, we all make our way across campus to Tucker dining hall and eat lunch together. This is especially fun. We usually stuff our faces and make jokes until it's time to go. In most cases, we push tables together or make one big basketball player blog with tables to make sure everyone is included. After eating, we have a little free time before it's time to get ready at the gym.
About an hour before the game, we pull on our jerseys and shoes and get pumped for the game. My teammates and I usually joke around and get each other excited for the 40 minute game that lies ahead. We have a warm up routine that we do every single game that involves a lot of shooting, laughing, and talking. People that watch us warm up probably think we are crazy because we are singing, dancing and shouting to each other for a good hour before the game starts. Personally, I have such a great time in warm ups when we can laugh and play around, and we focus on having fun!
Thirty minutes before the game starts, Coach Chapla gives us our pregame talk, usually reminding us of the game plan and what we need to focus on to win the game. At seven minutes to go, we come back in the locker room for the starting line up and their match ups. That's the most exciting part! We all get psyched about playing our opponent and having all our hard work pay off! Then we take the court for the game! After the National Anthem, the starters are announced and then it's tip-off! Whatever happens after that is up to us!
After games, Coach gives us a talk about what we did well and what we can do better. Then we gather up our gear and EAT MORE FOOD! I know it sounds ridiculous, but we always look forward to the post game meal! I also visit with my parents if they come to a game, or my friends afterwards as well. We typically get a huge crowd of our classmates and friends because it's always great to catch a game and snag a LEAD point!
Game Days are great. Being an athlete is a challenge and a commitment for sure, but with the relationships I've formed and the lessons I've learned make it all worth it. I've said it a million times in these posts, but there is nowhere else I'd rather be. Shoutout to my teammates for being the best family away from home, and shoutout to any future owls out there! Let me just encourage you to chase your dreams and play the sport you love at the Woods. There's so much to gain when you put in the time. Thanks for reading!