Senior softball player, Haley Collett, is optimistic in preparing for her last season on the hilltop

While many athletes are disappointed due to postponement of fall season sports around the country, West Liberty University athletes in particular have made the best out of the situations that were given to them. The West Liberty Trumpet was fortunate enough to interview one of these athletes who has been optimistic about their upcoming season, as junior Haley Collett answered several questions regarding West Liberty athlete training. Collett not only flourishes on the field, being once named an All-West Virginia Class AA shortstop during her time at Elkins High School, but she also has experienced excellence in the classroom during her time at WLU, as she has received the Mountain East Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll twice.

When asked about the day-to-day training her softball team participates in during the season, Collett had stated that, “during the season, my day-to-day schedule is very much the same. When I am not in class, I am either at practice or studying. Between traveling, staying healthy, and schoolwork, there isn’t much free time for me.”

Collett was then asked about the team’s offseason training and how it varied on a daily basis, in which she responded that, “off-season training varies, mainly because there are periods in which we are pushed physically and mentally, but there are also times where we have long rest periods. I would say off-season training is more intense because that is when we physically and mentally have to get tougher. During the season is when you just have fun.”

There is no question that COVID-19 has played a significant role in altering the way teams train and prepare for the season, and Collett knows that. When asked about how training has changed, Collett provided the insight that, “because of COVID, we are limited on the amount of time we can practice each week. The team uses the maximum amount of hours we can be together, but we also work on our own because we know what it takes to win. Even though the NCAA has restrictions, we are still working just as hard just in a different way. Our team has been making sure we follow the guidelines as best we can because we don’t want our season taken away again, but we also know we have to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

Despite these adversities, Collett and the WLU Softball team continue to stay optimistic. When the question of how her team translates their training to on the field play, Collett had an array of positive feedback to share. Per Collett, “softball is 100% a team sport, so when one person is slacking, it affects the entire team. However, what I love about this team is that we have put a lot of trust in one another, which makes it easier to perform our jobs on the field. The amount of training we do shows on the field because softball is a game of failure, so it’s very easy to mess up, but it’s very obvious when the work has been put in.”

Before the cancellation of the remainder of last year’s season, WLU Softball went 7-9 through 16 games. In 2019, the team finished the season with a great record of 38-19, showcasing that winning is in their nature. With spring season sports set to take place this academic year, the Lady Hilltoppers aim to mimic their success in 2019, and take revenge on the abrupt ending of 2020.