College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Athlete of the Week: Abigail Collins

An exclusive interview with Abigail Collins whose performance on the women’s softball team earned her a spot for Athlete of the Week.
Photo+provided+by+COD+Athletics.+
Photo provided by COD Athletics.

Name: Abigail Collins

Sport: Softball

Position: Centerfielder

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Lemont

High School: Lemont High School

 

LG: When did you start playing softball?

AC: I started playing softball when I was eight years old. My brother actually played baseball and my dad was the coach, so I kind of worked out with them. I just really enjoyed it, so the next year, my dad signed me up and I’ve been playing ever since.

 

LG: How is the season going, and do you have any personal highlights so far?

AC: The season has been going pretty well. I really enjoy playing. I was actually at Concordia in the fall semester, and I came back to play softball because I really enjoy all the girls on the team. My batting average is better this year than last, so that’s a little bit of an improvement. I’ve been really focusing on reading the defense and determining if I’m going to hit, slap or bunt because I can do all three. That’s pretty much the highlight, and I’ve been doing pretty well at center.

 

LG: You received a Chappy Award last year. Can you tell me more about that?

AC: I did win one last year, and I actually did not go to the awards ceremony. I was actually sick that day. I had no idea. I didn’t even know I was nominated or anything. I was taking a nap, and my phone was blowing up. My teammates were sending me videos of my face on the screen, and I didn’t know what was going on. They told me I won, and I was getting a bunch of congratulatory texts. It was such an honor. I had absolutely no idea. It was the female academic award.

 

LG: That’s awesome! How do you balance being an athlete and a student?

AC: Sometimes it’s rough, but I’m really good at planning. I have this planner, and I make sure, “Hey, I need to get this done Monday, this done Tuesday,” and I may take a break during the week if I have time. If I have games and practices I can just work around that. So if I have games during the weekend, I make sure to get all of my homework done during the week so I’m not worried about it.

 

LG: What is your favorite part about playing softball? 

AC: I think the adrenaline rush and the team culture is what I really enjoy. At COD, all of the girls are really nice and encouraging, and I’ve made some great friends. That’s why I came back. Barry [Froehle] is a fantastic coach. He’s very encouraging. If you do something wrong or you’re upset because you struck out, he says it’s okay and you’ll get the next one. He’s very understanding that we’re human and can make mistakes. That’s what I really enjoy.

 

LG: What has playing softball taught you about being a team player, both on and off the field?

AC: Being a team player is very important. Something that I really like to do, especially as a sophomore leader, is to pick some of the freshmen up. Sometimes they have bad days, or they’re nervous Barry is going to move them because they made a mistake. When I came as a freshman I actually came late into the year. I came in October, and the season starts in August. I remember my first at-bat I struck out, which was really not good. But he [Barry] just gave me a sign and said, “Smile. Have fun. We know you can hit. No pressure.” And that’s something I really try to do for freshmen so that they feel just a little more at ease.

 

LG: Do you have any advice for younger people just starting out in softball?

AC: Maybe some advice would just be to work hard and enjoy it. This is my last year, and it is sad. I’m excited to go on. I’m going to be a dental hygienist, so I’m excited to do dental school. But it’s bittersweet that I’m leaving. So, I think my advice is to enjoy the moments, enjoy the people that you meet. I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends through softball. People I did 8U softball with, I’m still close with, I still keep in connection with. So, just enjoy it. Don’t complain that you can’t go to a dance or something like that [because of softball], because at the end of the day, you’re still having a good time. 

 

LG: What has been your favorite softball season and why?

AC: I would say probably when I was younger. My dad was a coach, and I really look up to him. He gave me the fundamentals that have translated into the great player that I am today. So I feel like probably when I was eight to eleven is when my dad was coaching me, and it was a community program, so less go, go, go, and I just really enjoyed that. 

 

LG: What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

AC: Probably hanging out with my family and my friends, and also a little bit of softball mixed in. Or even just any sports or activities. I like to be active, so maybe volleyball. My little brother plays volleyball, and I like to help him out with that. But also board games and stuff like that, too. 

 

LG: Who is your favorite musician or band?

AC: That’s tricky. I love music, so it depends on what mood I’m in. My mom is a junkie when it comes to music, so I like ‘80s, ‘70s, and she also listens to ‘50s and stuff like that. But I also do like newer music like pop and rap and R&B. It’s really hard to pick a favorite, but maybe if I had to, I’d say Lil’ Wayne. I love him. I think he’s fantastic. 

 

LG: What one word best describes you?

AC: That’s kind of hard. Maybe positive. I like to think of myself as positive. I always try to find the positive in everything. Even if I ground out, I think, “Hey, I was on top of the ball. That’s just something to work for next time.” So, I always try to find the positive even if I make a mistake or something like that. Even when we lose a game, I try to be like, “Well, we did bunt-coverage good, we did cuts good.” I just always try to find something that we did well and not focus on the negatives, but just work on the negatives for the next game. 

 

LG: That’s great! Thank you very much!

AC: Thank you so much! Great questions!

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