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Overcoming adversity

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Geoff Schneider: Sports Union

It’s not easy playing one sport at the highest level, let alone four. But that is exactly what Mt. St. Mary Academy’s Amanda Saber is doing.

If you look at a roster in the fall, winter or spring, there is a good chance that Saber’s name will be on it. Her fall is probably the most busiest as she plays soccer and cross country, two sports that take up a lot of time.

Time management is high when it comes to playing as many sports as Saber does, so does communication. It’s extremely important for Saber to communicate with her coaches - especially if she needs an extra day of rest to help get her body back in game shape.

“My coaches are really flexible. My coaches knew that If I wasn’t as fast as I normally was, it was probably because I needed a day off,” stated Saber. “My soccer coach would make that I was eating right, and getting enough sleep to make sure that I was at my 100 percent.”

The biggest thing about playing so many sports is the injuries. An athlete has a bigger risk of getting an injury because the body never has a chance e to heal. Going from one sport to another, to another, puts a lot of wear on tear on the body.

Injuries can’t be avoided at all the times, unfortunately. When an athlete does get an injury they just need to make sure they try and get the treatment they need right away, as to not miss a lot of time.

Saber has dealt with her fair sure of injuries this season. During the fall, Saber missed half her soccer and cross country season with a torn quad. Nothing make an athlete more helpless than sitting on the bench watching their teammates fight on without them.

“That was definitely something that I faced this year, because I missed half my soccer and cross country season with a torn quad,” stated Saber. “It was really tough (to handle), because I am so used to going, going, going. It was a lot different to getting used to, and being a support system for both of them. Soccer, I was trying to help out as much as I could, especially because we had so many new girls that never played before. So, I was was just trying to help my coaches out on the bench. It was one of the hardest things (to do) was watch from afar.”

Being the competitive athlete that she is, Saber tried to play through the injury. She never missed a game before because of an injury, and she didn’t want to let her teammates down. So, she tried to gut through the pain for an long as she could.

In the end, however, she ended doing what was best for her. By playing on the injury, Saber could have done more damage and been out longer - which could have jeopardized her basketball season, and maybe the rest of the year.

“It was something that I needed, because I couldn’t play on it anymore. I tried to kind of play on, but I went tot he doctor and they told me I would be out for a while,” explained Saber. So, I went to get an MRI and I was out for three to four weeks. So, that was tough. I never had a major injury like that, where I had to sit out for that long. It was something that I had to get used to. But, it brought out how much I missed it even more. So, going into basketball season I had a different mindset.”

Saber’s mindset definitely had to change, but not for what you think. She was injured and not playing for the first time probably in her sports career. Besides that, Saber had to go through all the rehab to get back to 100 percent.

Sometimes the grueling part of the injury isn’t the injury at all. It’s the intense rehab that a person has to go through to get back to where they want to be before they got hurt in the first place.

“It was definitely different,” stated Saber. I was going to PT every week. I was doing all my exercises. All of my coaches were really there for me checking up on me - especially my soccer and cross country. If I was feeling down, because I couldn’t play, the coaches would make sure there was something for me to do. She would just let me talk it out, because sometimes that’s what I needed to do. I was just trying to hold it all in, and have a smile on my face for the team. When I was hurt, the coaches knew it was kind of tearing me up inside.”

After a rough fall, it was time for Saber to turn her attention to basketball season. Everything she went through over the fall season has made her stronger when the hoops season go underway.

Saber didn’t even think about the injury, either. She knew she put in all the work she needed to to be ready for the season. The injury was a distant memory. It was just time to go out there and ball.

“I am out there full speed, full throttle right now,” stated Saber. “My coach is watching out for my health and everything. She was making sure that I didn’t push myself to hard and re injure myself. I’m going into this season 100 percent healthy, ready to go.”

With everything that she has going on, Saber still needs to find time for herself. In this day and age, it’s important to find the right balance between sports, academics and interest outside of those two.

Mental health has become a real topic of discussions, and athletes now are taking time for themselves, and realizing that burning themselves out isn’t the right thing to do.

“I play on Full Court Hoops, an AAU basketball team, and play for Kenmore Soccer,” stated Saber. I enjoy going to practice. I know some people dread going to practice, but i have fun. My friends know how many sports that I am in, but we all find time for each other. We are all very good outlets for each other.”

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