Tate's Take: Getting Ready For A New State of Mind
Feb. 7, 2013
MIAMI -- With a new coaching staff, a new Adidas contract and a new team, it's easy to understand why the slogan for the 2013 NC State softball team is "A New State of Mind."
The program has undergone some major changes over the past six months, and everyone who is involved has put in a lot of time and effort to make sure we are ready for the season, which starts on Friday at the FIU Panther Invitational. Our team consists of 14 players this year, which is on the smaller side, but having a small team has advantages. For example, we are able to get more reps in practice, and everyone will have a chance to play throughout the season. Staying healthy and limiting injuries is going to be important for all of us this season, since we don't have much depth. There are big expectations for our three freshmen this season as well. Lana Van Dyken, Hanna Sommer and Chelsea Stanfield are all expected to contribute right away. There is no doubt in my mind that they will have a big impact on our team's success.
We have been working consistently over the past six months with our strength and conditioning coaches to be physically prepared for all of our games. Conditioning is not all fun and games, especially when our trainer Wright Wayne has us run dirty dozen drills or puts us through an intensive dynamic warm-up. Our team does a good job of having fun but working hard at the same time. We have a solid bond with our trainers, and no matter what workouts we are being put through our team has a good laugh at some point. Teamwork and competition become apparent during our workouts. Personally, I can always count on Leah Jones to run with me and we motivate each other through every step of tough workouts. There is always a competition between Kirsty Grant and Renada Davis to see who can do the agilities quicker. This type of competition is what makes us all better. We are all on the same team and working toward the same ultimate goal, which is to win.
I have been counting down to opening day for months now and I still get butterflies before every game. It's not so much nerves but just the excitement to get an opportunity to compete and win. All of the hard work our team has put forth the past six months is now going to be tested. Our team wants to create a new image for the program and exceed expectations this season. The coaches have prepared us mentally and physically, and now all that's left for us to do is go out there and win.