by Jules Gonsoulin
With temperatures falling to single digits and snow precipitating here at Millsaps, many of us would prefer to stay in bed and watch TV all day—or do anything to avoid going outside to face the cold. Meanwhile, Major athletes are waking up long before the sun rises, at the coldest hours of night to practice their sports. There is no doubt the early morning practices take a physical toll but, coupled with freezing temperatures and blistering wind, practices can start to have a mental effect on athletes as well.
Freshman lacrosse goalie Riley McLean is blatant about his view. “It sucks, but we’ve got to do it,” he said. This can-do attitude is part of the reason this year’s lacrosse squad is looking so promising. Although McLean understands well the struggle of waking up early, knowing the team would face harsh conditions, he is pragmatic. “It’s what every team in the country is doing,” he said. “We could be in Chicago having to shovel snow for an hour just to have a field to practice on, and then have a tough two-hour practice, so I think we’re pretty fortunate to only have to face the weather we’re dealing with.”
McLean’s attitude towards the weather is evidence of the mental toughness being instilled in our athletes, and it is a sign of good things to come for Millsaps athletics.
Also dealing with the frigid weather are freshman tennis player Taylor Thomas and freshman baseball pitcher James Perkins. Thomas commented on mobility issues in his joints, which directly affects his game. Perkins mentioned that the cold temperatures affect his ability to loosen up.
For Millsaps athletes, the cold temperatures may seem like a hindrance to success on the field but, judging by the accounts of these players, this weather creates tougher athletes. If athletes can build their mental fortitude, they will have a stronger chance of creating a winning culture on their teams or, for some, sustaining a winning culture.