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Podcast; Betsy & Jazmin

Podcast; Betsy & Jazmin


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Welcome to our first podcast, my name is Jasmine Conchas, my name is Betsy Valenzuela, today's podcast episode we're going to be talking about student athletes, it's quite interesting how they live their life when they're doing sports in college at the same time, and today we have a very special guest. My name is Paola Herrera and I'm an athlete here at AWC. So today we're here with Paola, so tell us Paola, what sport do you play here at AWC? So here at Arizona Western College I play soccer. And what position do you play? I'm a left back defender. Do you enjoy doing that? I really do, I feel like I have more experience playing that position, so it's really good. So tell me Paola, how do you feel about balancing school and practices or games at the same time? At most times it can be very overwhelming, I feel pressured to have to perform good not only at school but also in the field. You really have no time for anything, you really have to prioritize school and soccer and stick with it. Sometimes I can be stressful especially when having to focus on a big game or practice that didn't go as planned and vice versa. I feel like you get pretty drained over the season but it's really manageable. How do you manage doing both school and practices at the same time? So before preseason starts you already have a routine that's planned. What I mean is our guidance counselors plan our schedule around soccer practices and games. Usually during the day we focus on classes, then on the afternoon it's all about soccer. At night is when I have time to do my homework, I have to make it a habit to do homework at certain times and days to avoid interfering with soccer. So tell me Paola, what is one thing you would change about being a student athlete? One thing I would change is probably having games once a week rather than having it twice. With practices it already becomes very tiring and then having two games per week is sometimes hard. What does your typical daily schedule look like? So it's very busy. I start off by waking up early and getting ready for my day. Then I go eat breakfast at the cafeteria or I get Starbucks. I make my way to my class that starts at 1.30. After class I go for a snack at Starbucks and then I go for a snack at Starbucks before heading to the trainers. After the trainers I get dinner at 5 at the caf and at 6 I go to the gym. I come back and work on my homework and shower and get ready for bed. So tell me Paola, what is something you really like about being a student athlete? What I really like about being a student athlete is I get paid for my education for doing something that I love. You get to meet a lot of new people from all over the world. We are able to learn from each other since each player plays differently. I see it as getting a little distraction from school. I am able to also build my character such as my commitment and determination. Paola, what made you want to continue playing soccer for college? I have been playing soccer since I was very small. I do believe I am able to form a career out of soccer. I wanted to continue playing soccer for college to see if I could make something out of it. Interesting. Paola, why did you choose AWC and not another school? I chose AWC since it is more close to home. I think that was a big factor that contributed to my decision since I wanted to be close to my family. I also got a really good offer from the coach. I am getting paid full tuition and also I am able to stay at the dorms without paying anything. It is a huge help. It really is coming from a low income family. Do you like living in the dorms? At first, I didn't just because it is a different environment. It is really different from living at my house obviously. Then I started meeting new people, getting to know them, started having friends. I really like it actually. It is really good. Has there been any moment in your life that you have questioned if you want to continue doing soccer? That is a good question. Yes. At first, when I started my season, my first year here at Arizona State College, preseason was really hard especially because the coach was really hard on us. That is where I started questioning if I wanted to continue with soccer or not because he was very pushy. I feel like that is needed for me to be better. I just stayed here and continued. Is this your first year or second year? This is my second year here at Arizona Western. It is your second year. This is a two year school. Are you planning to keep on playing soccer for another school? Yes, that is what I am looking into right now. I have some offers from other universities and I am seeing which university I want to choose and which one benefits me. I want to continue my soccer journey. Are you looking for schools to stay close to family? Not really. This time I want to explore more out of state and other places. There is this offer I have over there at Mississippi. I am probably looking to going there. I want to leave. I know you and your teammates are always together. Do you get along with them or do you get frustrated being so much time with them? That is a good question. I would say I get along with all my teammates especially because we are together all the time. I try to get along with them. How did you feel about not passing to Nationals? I felt very sad because we put in a lot of work to be able to go to Nationals. I think that was the whole goal to go to Nationals and try to win it. Of course it was very devastating. Next season we will put in more effort to try and go to Nationals. Did you put yourself in a very low position when you didn't make it? Yes I did. I didn't play good that game. Maybe it was my fault. I am just trying to get over it and get back to bettering myself. I actually went to that game because of one penalty. How did you feel about that? I was very mad because how could a penalty determine. You were undefeated the whole season. It was crazy. It was very sad. All these feelings came at the same time. It is what it is. Do you get along with your coach? At first, not really. He is very strict and pushy to our players. I try to see the positive side of it. He is probably doing that to make us better. Has your coach ever made you play with the boys soccer team to help each other out in some way? Yes. He does that sometimes at practice where he gets a group of guys and a group of girls to play versus each other to better us in a way to help us improve our soccer skills. Do you think it is hard playing against the boys? Yes. Do you get nervous? I do get nervous. It is actually pretty hard because they are very fast and very strong. When they try to push us, they push very hard and they are not. It can be kind of scary. Yes it is. What do you plan on doing after the season is over? After the season? Our season ended already. I am not in season right now. I am just focusing on school and friends. When I was in season, I didn't have a social life. Right now I am focusing on friends and school. Our preseason starts in spring so we are going to start training again. This is just my break right now. I really don't have a break. So it is really back to back. Yes. So if you go to Mississippi, when are you planning to leave? If I go, it would be starting next fall semester so probably August. When you started playing soccer, was it something that you felt that your parents put in your past or was it something that you chose yourself? So that is a really good question actually. So as I said, I started playing when I was small. So in part, I am like okay, I want to continue because of me. But my parents did play a part in wanting to continue to play soccer at college. Since they are always saying no, try to get a scholarship so we don't have to pay for your college because they wouldn't get it financially so they would pay a lot of money for college. So in part, I was like okay, I will try. Did you feel pressure when they told you that? Yes, I did feel pressure because I wanted to continue my education of course. So I am glad I was able to get one. Did you get any other offers besides AWCs? Yes, I got two more offers. There were two colleges over there at Phoenix but I think my decision was based more on the tuition, how much they gave you, how much they offered you, how good the school was. Arizona Western College is a D1 school. I wanted to get in a D1 school and the other offers were D2. So I think. Okay, so this was Paola. She was our guest for today. So yeah, that's all she has for us today. Thank you for having me. Any words you want to say Paola? Motivate people. Well, I just want to say follow your dreams. I just want to say don't give up. I know sometimes it can be stressful or hard but it's manageable. And a key is to manage your time correctly. Yeah, that's really important. Okay, so this was our episode for today. Again, my name is Betsy. I'm Jasmine. And that's all we have for today. Thank you for listening to us today. We really appreciate it. And yeah, that's all.

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