A Day in the Life of an Athlete: Cassidy Gustafson
Cassidy Gustafson ‘17 is currently a Pacific’s women’s softball player who hails from Rancho Santa Margarita in California. She started playing softball at age six after trying ballet, ice skating, gymnastics, soccer, ballroom dancing, cross country and swimming and has been in love with it ever since.
Being a student-athlete comes with its various challenges, and Gustafson works hard to balance her life as an athlete with the other aspects of her Pacific experience.
She is currently studying sports pedalogy and has recently become a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
“Time management has always been something that’s hard, but I’ve learned that the experiences you have, the friends you make, and the memories that last a lifetime are worth it!” explained Gustafson.
Nanxi: What does your typical day during the competitive season look like?
Cassidy: My morning starts with early class (biology, man that’s rough), followed by softball, weights/ conditioning and more class. Typically, softball is broken up into four different components: team practice, defensive groups, hitting groups and bullpens (pitching). I am involved in all four, with weights and conditioning thrown in Monday through Thursday. On a busy class day, such as my Tuesday, here is a glimpse:
9-11:50 a.m. – Lab
Noon-12:45 p.m. – Bullpen
1-2:45 p.m. – Class
3:15-5 p.m. – Team Practice
5-6:45 p.m. – Class
7-9:45 p.m. – Class
Nanxi: Do you have a certain eating regime you follow?
Cassidy: Usually I start my morning with either oatmeal or eggs, as well as the largest coffee possible with EXTRA espresso. I have to pack my lunch prior to my day because I can rarely make trips back home. Snacks consist of protein shakes, trail mix or even bananas and other fruits/vegetables. I like to finish my night with chicken and vegetables or other proteins. I was on the Atkins (low carb) Diet for awhile, but as an athlete, carbs are important!
Nanxi: What is your experience so far being a student-athlete at Pacific?
Cassidy: As busy as I am, I have come to thoroughly enjoy the experience I’ve had here. My major’s program is very tight knit, so I’ve made new friends out of there, and it’s nice to be a part of a community such as athletics because we are a very small group, which is one of the main reasons why I picked UOP in the first place. I can’t believe I’m already in my junior year!
Nanxi: What part have you enjoyed the most?
Cassidy: Being a part of a team, as well as being a part of a sisterhood. Building relationships is something I value because when we look back so many years from now, we are going to connect the memories back to who we spent them with. I feel that I am blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given, as well as the people I’ve met to help me along the way.
Nanxi: What is your team dynamic? Explain what being on your team is like to an outsider.
Cassidy: Softball is our job. We are not only representing ourselves, but we are representing University of the Pacific, the West Coast Conference and even the city of Stockton. When we are on the field, the only thing that matters is what’s on the field. Focus and motivation to succeed are the two factors I believe to be the most important as a sports team, as well as team chemistry, which is something we have a great amount of.
Nanxi: What are the differences in your schedule between your in-season versus your off-season?
Cassidy: Off-season is more intense when it comes to practices, lifting and conditioning. Generally the schedule is busier where we are running from class to something softball everyday.
As for in season, because we travel and play more frequently, recovery is essential, so this results in sometimes lighter practices, as well as weights being minimized.
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