Mountaineer Fans and House United family, welcome back to ‘Inside the Rock’, a behind-the-scenes blog on App State Football. For those of you that are new, my name is Trey Schaneville and I am a graduate transfer kicker for your Mountaineers, and I am excited to share my experiences within the App State football program with you. Be sure to subscribe to Houseunitedsports.com to never miss a blog, and to be notified of upcoming promotions and events.
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“Burst Pipes or Make Diamonds”
A time of stadiums with empty seats, cardboard cutouts substituting as fans, and athletes dealing with the absence of competition is finally reaching its end (knock on wood)...
The “Queen City Takeover” is right around the corner. We meet ECU in the Bank of America Stadium on September 2nd, and the excitement is through the roof. Every year, the first game of the season always brings a certain level of anticipation, but this year is different. The fans are back!
The past 8-9 months have been nothing but preparing and dreaming about gameday. 6AM winter workouts, spring football practice, summer workouts, and fall camp have all come and gone; and the guys in this locker room couldn’t be more excited to compete against somebody in a different color jersey. Not only do we finally get to play against another team, but we get to do it surrounded by thousands of people in a packed stadium rather than surrounded by cardboard cutouts and artificial noise. This environment will definitely bring a new and almost forgotten level of excitement to the game, but it will also bring a different level of pressure than what an empty stadium would bring. As the saying goes, pressure can either burst pipes or make diamonds.Our goal, of course, is to make some diamonds!
Throughout my experience as an athlete, I’ve come to realize the thing that separates players and teams that thrive under pressure versus those that fold under pressure is mental toughness. All offseason, our coaches made sure that we were working on our minds just as hard as we were working on our bodies. The main message during the offseason was that every team in the country is working hard. Every team in the country is conditioning. Every team in the country is tackling, blocking, and running. We must do something that separates us from the rest, and for us, that meant taking a strong mental approach to every little thing we do; treating every rep in the weight room or on the field as if we were trying to do it better or faster than the competition.
Another little thing that the coaches stress we do to mentally prepare for the pressures that we will face on game day is viualization; visualizing yourself out on the field making plays and visualizing the game plan that the coaches have developed. By simply doing this, we will all feel much more comfortable when we are actually out on the field in high-pressure situations because we have already played it out in our mind, and we know what it takes to succeed. For me, my visualization is simple. See it go through the uprights, and see it go through the back of the endzone.
Again, the fans are back, the stakes are higher. Talking to my teammates, it is clear that eagerness and emotion will be through the roof on Thursday night. But also, there seems to be a sense of calmness and confidence about the game. I think that is mainly due to the amount of mental and physical preparation that took place over the past several months
This will be my first game as a Mountaineer, and I have only heard great things about the fan base and how rowdy it can get, so I couldn’t be more excited to finally experience it. Even though, right now, I will not be the starting kicker, you can guarantee I will be there taking in every moment surrounded by the passionate fans; because as we all have seen, those moments are not promised and can be taken away from us at any given time.
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