By Carolyn Linck, '11
Sophomore captain Justin Viele (JV) had been leading the Broncos by example, playing in every game this season. Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Viele about his leadership style, his favorite thing about playing at SCU and his game day rituals.
SCB: How do you feel about being a team captain as a sophomore? What does that say about your leadership ability?
JV: Being a captain on the team this year is a great honor for me. I feel lucky that my coaches have enough confidence in me to give me this role as a sophomore.
SCB: How would you describe your leadership style?
JV: My leadership style isn't very different from the other captains on the team. I just try to lead by example, and if I see something that a player is doing on the field that we don't do in this program, I will let him know so he can change it. This way our team is all on the same page, which is key.
SCB: You've started in every game for the Broncos so far this season. How does it feel to be playing every game after missing a lot of time last year with an arm injury?
JV: Playing every game is an honor, and I have been so blessed that my coaches have the confidence to put me out there every single day. It's great to know they trust that I will do everything I can possible to help the team win. Being injured last year really made me realize how easy it is to take the game for granted, so this year I made sure even when things weren't going my way, to just be thankful that I was able to play the game I love.
SCB: How old were you when you started to play baseball? Did you play any other sports growing up?
JV: I was about five years old when I was on my first YMCA tee-ball team. I also played a lot of basketball growing up, but stopped my sophomore year of high school to focus on baseball.
SCB: Who is your favorite Major League Baseball player? Why?
JV: I have two favorite players. The first one is Orlando Cabrera. I like him because you can tell he has so much passion for the game, and it seems like every team he plays on he helps that team get to the playoffs. My other favorite player is Nick Punto. I like him because he is a great defensive player who plays as hard as he can every game.
SCB: Why did you choose Santa Clara University? What attracted you to SCU?
JV: I chose Santa Clara because the campus is great, it is in a great area and I knew that baseball was very important to the coaches here. I felt confident that they would help develop me into the best baseball player I could be.
SCB: What do you think are the strongest aspects of your game? What aspects are you working to improve right now?
JV: I think the strongest aspects of the game are my awareness and willingness to be vocal on defense. I am trying to improve my offense so I can have more of an impact with my bat as well as my glove.
SCB: What's your favorite thing about playing baseball at Santa Clara?
JV: My favorite thing about playing at Santa Clara is knowing the coaches will do whatever it take to help me get better. They will never give up on us and are always pushing us, which I like.
SCB: Do you have any superstitions or game-day rituals?
JV: I don't have any odd rituals or anything, but I do have a few traditions. I read a Bible Verse every game day and a Vince Lombardi passage called "What it takes to be number one." Right before the game during the national anthem I always say a quick prayer too.