Hey guys! Hope you all are doing well. I’m super excited to share this blogpost with you guys because I have been wanting to do it for so long. This post is an athlete feature about one of my friends, Colbyshae, and she is on the tennis team. I interviewed her about her life at Biola and how it is being a student athlete.
How has your overall experience been so far as a student athlete?
It’s been really good, very busy because I have to manage school and 3 hours of practice. But I really like my team and I have enjoyed it so far.
How has your experience been at Biola so far, as a freshman?
Everything has been fun! The first two weeks were so busy because of orientation stuff. But since I’ve gotten to start practice and all my classes started it has been manageable.
How have you managed practicing three hours a day and also managing your work?
Before Biola I could do my homework whenever I wanted. But since I came to Biola I have had to set away time to my work - for example setting aside an hour or so to work on a paper.
Has joining the new team been hard?
No, they are all really nice. During the first two weeks of school we did stuff together, we went to the beach multiple times and went to someone’s house one time. We have spent so much time together and it’s nice because you just have instant friends. Spending time with people 15 hours a week you just become really close to people.
How has the transition been from high school tennis to collegiate level tennis?
For me, I didn’t play high school tennis, just my freshman and sophomore years. I just competed in tournaments around the LA area and my dad coached me. So before I wasn’t really on a team but now I am. It’s different having a team support you playing by watching you and cheering for you verses just your parents coming to your games. But I love it so much better, I love being on a team and all the support that comes with it.
Since I am not used to playing on a team, I have had to completely change my mindset, it’s not just practicing for myself but it’s an overall team effort when we practice to better everyone.
Do you have any other tennis players you look up to for inspiration?
When I was younger, I basically wanted to just be exactly like my sister. When you start in tennis you start out with two hands on both sides for forehand and backhand. And when she switched to one hand on her forehand side, I also switched. I was basically just her twin and followed her around on the court and she was who I looked up to. She used to play at Fullerton and now plays for Liberty University in Virginia.
Now I don't really look up to anyone because I play so strange. I know that sounds weird but I always used to play with my brother. And because I played with my brothers so much I adapted to playing against guys so now there are no girls that play like me technique and style wise.
Specifically, I’ve gotten used to the faster pace of the ball, a big serve, splices, drop shots, and overall just running around everywhere. Because I have learned to play like this it makes me a more competitive player which ultimately makes me a better tennis player.
How do you prepare for you match?
I listen to music and try not to let my mind wander, I need to be in a really good mood. In tennis especially, I try not to focus on who you are playing because then you can psych yourself out. During the match itself, I particularly don’t like to sit down. Also people on my team tell me that I am silent while I play. I don’t say a word. It’s so different from some other people on my team who get really hyped up and super excited on the court but I am just dead silent but that is just how I play.
Also, during the game I have to chew gum. I feel like over time it has become a ritual for me. If I don’t chew gum during my game, it bothers me. I don’t wanna say it’s a superstition but it probably is!
What are you looking forward to this upcoming season?
I’m really looking forward to season. Off season is weird to me because we don’t play many matches. During season it will be so busy but I’m super excited to play with my team and try to win a lot of matches. I’m super excited to travel with my team and get to hang out with them on and off the court. And I’m also excited for us to try to reach our goals that we set in place at the beginning of the season and hopefully make some history at Biola!
Would you suggest playing a college level sport to anyone who is interested?
Yes, if you love the sport that you play it will be one of the best experiences you have. You make so many new friends and meet so many new people, travel to so many new places and it just becomes like a new family. Plus, you get to play the sport that you love everyday.
Til next time,