Eileen McCann is a junior outfielder on the Iona College softball team. This season, McCann will be taking Iona fans inside the world of not only an Iona softball player, but that of a student-athlete. After two short seasons, McCann has had a very successful career at Iona. A two-time MAAC Champion, McCann is a Mass Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations.
This week was a tough one. After arriving back in New Rochelle from Florida late Sunday night, we were given all of Monday off to recuperate and catch up on sleep and schoolwork and such. These single days off come and go so quickly that they seem to be over before you even realize that you’ve had the day off. And so, after 24 hours of softball deprivation, we jumped back into our routine Tuesday with a lift and indoor evening practice. Fatigue appeared to be the theme of Wednesday’s practice. Weather conditions permitted us the rare opportunity of getting on Rice Oval for a change, which we all love to do. Our only problem was we were scheduled to condition with Coach Carr directly after practice which, as one could guess, we don’t exactly love. Given the fact that we were all a little extra tired this week, our team demeanor was more dreadful than enthusiastic knowing what was in store for us. Despite our pleas for mercy and desperate requests for an emergency schedule change to coach, we ran that afternoon. The previous Wednesday, we ran very well as a team and Coach Carr had expressed how hard we had been working and how we were ready to open our season strong. The same praise was not given this week, however. The running killed us, and I can safely say that none of us are proud of the efforts we put forth. Sprint after sprint, we failed to make our designated time as we lazily jogged through the line. As a result of our inexcusable performance, we were chewed out, and we were punished. And once more the following day, we were chewed out... again, and punished… again.
The season is long, there’s no doubt about it. The tedious days and weeks take their toll on everyone. It’s easy to let one’s high spirits and positive attitude diminish as one becomes enveloped in the ever-accelerating hustle and bustle of a student-athlete’s day. It’s easy to let your opinion of the people you see every day shift from admiration to apprehension. When days like this past Wednesday come and knock you down, you have to take them for what they are: gut checks. Any given moment on any day can give rise to adversity, and you have to decide what to do with it. You can face it head on, and accept that whatever the outcome may be, you will become better as a result, or you can fight it. You can resist the challenge, knowing full well that, in doing so, you’re disrespecting yourself, your game, and the people that dedicate their lives to making you better.
We finished out the week strong, and were given the weekend to rest (or “study, sleep, and take medicine” as coach says) before getting back to the grind this week. Last Wednesday hit us hard, and served to test those of us who may be dragging our feet at a time when we simply can’t afford it. Our struggle allowed our flaws to be brought to light and examined, and that, in itself, allowed us to get better in some way this week. I have no doubt that we’re going to kill it this week with Coach Carr, in addition to putting in productive work at practice and lift. Our bus to Longwood, VA, is scheduled to leave Friday morning and we’re going to ride being better prepared for any challenges we face this weekend, and the rest of our season.