A day in the life of an athlete


By Bekah Denny

Up at bat, Sophia McCann, 11, looks for a weak point in the outfield. Photo courtesy of Michael McCann
Up at bat, Sophia McCann, 11, looks for a weak point in the outfield. Photo courtesy of Michael McCann

An athlete’s life is profoundly different from any other run of the mill high school student’s. Most high schoolers eat whatever they want, sleep whenever they want, do their homework late at night just because they can, and get to head home when the last bell rings at 2:11. An athlete’s life is very different.

Sophia McCann, junior, is a varsity softball player and on the Rage club softball team.

McCann starts off her day by waking up at dawn to prepare for her long day. Composing her makeup and running down the stairs is how most days begin. She religiously makes protein shakes for breakfast with the occasional apple or banana. This starts her day off with some much needed energy and balances her diet with healthy fats and protein to help her muscles. She packs her softball bag to the brim with her equipment and anything else she will need during the long practices.

“I love that she plays her sport so wholeheartedly. It gives her twice the opportunity for scholarships, and it keeps her out of trouble,” Michael McCann, Sophia’s father, said.

McCann hustles to school and deals with the pressures of the everyday high school student. When the bell rings at the end of sixth period, she surges to the locker room to start her first practice of the day for the Coronado softball team. Practice consists of endless drills: batting, catching, running, and sliding to the base until the players become “one with the field.”

The Cougar’s practice lasts for about two and a half hours. When the practice concludes at 4:30, McCann dashes home to prepare for her club practice. McCann gets 10 minutes to change into her Rage uniform before she has to leave. During the 50-minute drive to her second practice, McCann eats and rests before her three and a half hour practice.

“My body gets really exhausted, but I manage to stay in good shape, and I make up for the loss of sleep on weekends,” McCann said.

At the end of the long day she comes home and spends three to five hours doing homework. On a normal night, McCann goes to bed between midnight and three a.m.

Athletes rely on a strong support network of friends, family, and team members to stay determined and be reminded of why they put themselves through this back-breaking work. McCann depends on the constant support of those around her, particularly her mom and dad.

“My family and friends are my biggest support group. My friends work to make our plans go with my schedule, and my family takes time off of work to fly or drive me to places for showcases. They never miss a game,” McCann said.

Because of her love for softball, she pushes herself to eat better, try harder in school, and be the best player she can be.

“I sometimes resent my sport because I’m not able to do things that a ‘normal’ teenager does, but then I realize that it will pay off, and the joy I get from playing makes it worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” McCann said.