In SNU history, we have been graced by the honor of being champions for many sport-related events; this past year, we were not only rugby champions but soccer champions as well, not to mention that our Women’s Basketball team is sweeping their season. Have you ever considered how our powerhouses prepare their minds and bodies before leaving it all in the game? If so, our incredible athletes hold the answer to your lingering question.
Our athletes are no strangers to the grind of physical training. Kenna Franks, a rugby and basketball player, says, “I always try to stay hydrated; the day before and the day of the game, I take liquid IVs, look over plays that we have, and then I make sure to get that much needed pre-game restroom break.” Orlando Castro, a soccer standout, echoes this feeling, empathizing with the importance of having great training and staying hydrated. He thinks that having practice scrimmages is especially important in training for big games. Each athlete accommodates their workouts to the unique demands of their sport, and their commitment to physical greatness is evident in each step they take.
However, the journey to success isn’t solely made with physical milestones. Ava Mayo, another rugby icon, sheds light on the mental side of the game, stating, “I think time has just been so hard to allocate because I’m practicing most days out of the week, on top of taking 17 credits, plus labs, plus working. Trying to fit all that, plus having to keep a social life is very stressful. Once you set your priorities, it helps your mental health by not having to work with a scribbled brain 24/7. Set goals because your brain can only take so much at a time.” Ray Mauldin, a volleyball player, emphasizes the need for mental health days, explaining how busy schedules can be draining.
Finding a balance between physical and mental preparation is the key to our athletes’ success. Sometimes, a prayer is all we need. Telesi Uhatafe, a rugby superstar, comments, “A quick prayer before anything is always good for mentality and getting ready for the game. Others like Andrej Krivokapić, our amazing goalkeeper, are naturally disciplined and underscore the importance of routines, having a facilitated overview of the subject. The interplay between body and mind is an art our athletes have mastered through rigorous preparation, which leads them to victory.
The behind-the-scenes glimpse into our athletes’ preparation unveils a world of discipline, dedication, and balance. As they integrate these factors into their everyday lives, they exemplify how their commitment is important to success on and off the field. As a basketball player and nursing major, Emily Martinez reflects on these thoughts by saying, “Stay focused; nursing is a stressful major. I must always separate each from one another…whenever my frustration bottles up due to my studies, I leave it all on the court.” She encourages all athletes, but primarily incoming freshmen, expressing, “Be yourself. Don’t act like you want to be anyone else. If you’re an athlete, put your heart on that court and show what it means for you to be on that court.”
It is a lesson etched in our hearts, a reminder that in every challenge we face, the fusion of body and mind can turn ordinary moments into iconic achievements. Our university’s exceptional athletes have not just carved a path to victory but have made a legacy, inspiring every student at SNU to strive for greatness and success for years to come. As new seasons begin and tournaments are won we will be reminded of what Taylor Swift once said: “Let the games begin.”
If you’d like to learn more about SNU’s athletic world, SNU Athletics is the place to go! Here, you will find information about all our sports, teams, accolades, and the latest news on how we are doing.
Photo by José Ramos