March 28, 2012
By Blake Bolin
The transition from high school to college can be a tremendous challenge for anyone, but for a collegiate softball player, it means that much more.
The 2012 Louisiana Tech softball team features four true freshmen who have experienced this change first hand. There are many difficulties to overcome whether on the softball field itself or in the classroom.
Janine Godwin, a freshman outfielder, realized quickly that college was not going to be a breeze.
"There is a realization that you're not gonna get A's in every class, coming here and getting A's and B's is just a wakeup call that it's not all easy," commented Godwin.
Alayna Kipp, a freshman catcher, agreed with Godwin's comments about the difficulty of transitioning from high school to college.
"It's a lot harder, you have a lot more things going on here and it's just a lot harder in the classes. You don't get babied like in high school," said Kipp. Hailey Winter, a freshman third baseman, discussed some positives academics wise of switching from high school to college.
"In high school you were always monitored but now in college you have a whole lot more freedom to do what you want, also, I like the fact that classes are every other day and I have time to get everything done."
Going from softball in high school to softball in college may be the biggest reality check for some players. College softball is the best of the best and it's not always so simple. For one player, that transition was made quite a bit easier.
Alayna Kipp was fortunate enough to have her older sister Erin on the team. Erin a pitcher for the Lady Techsters gave Alayna a lot of help in facing this transition.
"It has helped me so much she's there for me all the time. When she was a freshman she had a little trouble because she didn't have anybody here and I came down here I knew some of her friends. I don't know what I would do without here here," Alayna remarked on her big sister.
"I started playing softball when I was four years old, and select since I was ten, so it has always been a dream to play college softball," continued Godwin. "The struggle is dealing with failures. You're not always going to be prefect and when you get out there and mess up and you think everyone isn't gonna like you. Everyone fails and is not going to be successful all the time, that's my biggest struggle."
Head softball coach Sarah Dawson has given plenty of advice to her freshman about juggling school, softball, and social life.
"We tell them if their priorities are not school first, softball second, and social third, they are not going to be successful in this program. Tech is a strong academic institution and if you fall behind in this quarter system, you are not going to be able to catch up. I feel like this is taken care of already though, because we recruit strong student-athletes. Most players who come here are serious about softball and being student athletes first and are excited about the opportunity to play college softball."
Every collegiate athlete is going to have their struggles but with the help of those around them, everyone can be successful. Most people at some point will struggle with the transition. These softball players are currently experiencing this and are learning and growing from it as they prepare themselves for their future beyond softball.
(Blake Bolin is a freshman journalism major from Baton Rouge and is taking Feature Writing (Journalism 210) this quarter.)