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2014 CBD Journal with Appalachian State’s Ty Zupcic (December 12th)

zupcicjournalThe first week of December always means the same thing in college – crunch time. It’s that time of the year where everything you have learned for the entire semester comes down to final exams – or if you’re a journalism major like me, final stories – and you see just how well you can handle pressure.

The good thing about being a college athlete is that we’re always faced with pressure situations. In every sport there are so many times where the game is on the line and how you handle that situation will determine the outcome for your team. So most of us athletes know just how to control our emotions when that pressure arises.

Being in college for over four years has taught me how to do one thing very well and that is being the master of procrastination. Seriously, I can do it with the best of them and at the start of every semester I always tell myself that this one will be different and I will stay ahead of my work. And every time about three weeks in, that strategy fails drastically.

With the semester coming to a close, that means we are getting closer to the start of our season. Guys will be heading home for Christmas break here shortly and will get started immediately on their winter strength and conditioning program. At least that is what every coach hopes for when they see their players leaving for break. I can only imagine the stress level of each college coach when players are on their own for an entire month. After constantly being on them for an entire fall and making sure they stay on top of their game, they must now trust a bunch of 18 to 22 year olds to do the same without the direct control of their coach.

This time is where you will see the stronger teams make their push to Omaha. Most believe that it starts with the first day of the season but what will separate the good from the great is having a team of 35 guys continue to do what they’ve done for an entire fall. A team that has a will to win will not use this time to be exactly what it is – a break.

Playing for the dogpile.

Merry Christmas,
Ty Zupcic