No matter what level you play for, whether it be DI, DIII, or JUCO, there is one constant that all teams must deal with: bus rides. Bus rides can be long, they can be short, they can be fun, they can be torturous. They are a part of the life of every college athlete, and most of them go a little something like this:
You’re getting everything ready for the ride, whether that be a quick 30 minute bus ride or a long two-hour ride. First, you might make a trip for some snacks or drinks (or, my personal favorite, Dunkin’ Donuts). I mean, you have to carb up before the game, right? Then you might make your way over to the athletic facilities and your bus is most likely waiting for you outside. You make your way down to the locker room to prepare your bag (uniform, cleats, shinguards, stick, anything and everything you may need). Then you hit the trainers’ room. Maybe warm up on the bike, roll out, and start getting in game mode. You board the bus, headphones on, check out the food selection in the front, and make your way to your usual seat (freshmen in the front!).
Everyone on the bus is rocking their matching travel gear and everyone is ready to go. As the bus is pulling away, you have a mini freak out…”Did I forget my jersey, my spandex??” Then, you rifle through your bag. Phew, all good. They’re in there. Coach stands up, says a few things about the game and what is expected of you and your teammates, sits down and the bus ride begins.
The beginning of the bus ride may start with people talking, singing, and joking around. But, at some moment, it hits that point. The point where the whole bus is silent, all your teammates are listening to their music, most likely looking out the window, and it looks like everyone is pretending to be in their own music video. This is when you have time to think about the game you are about to play. Everything gets serious. You seem to forget about in your life (your exam tomorrow, the assignment you have to complete later that night, any worry other than the game that is right in front of you). Your only focus is the game: How am I going to perform? How will we perform? Will #22 really be as good as coach says? This is when you start getting in the zone.
The atmosphere from the bus ride will follow your team into the locker room. If everyone was focused, then that focus will stay with you as you make your way into the locker room and start prepping for the game ahead. This stage can be a little chaotic because of the unfamiliar surroundings and routine. But, you have to find a calmness and prep yourself for the game ahead. It’s go time! See you back at the bus after the game.
Photo courtesy of The New-Gazette, Inc.
Posted on August 15, 2016 in Life of a College Athlete
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