Santa Clara Broncos (SCB) had time to catch up with left-handed pitcher Brianna Rios (BR). The Broncos set individual and team goals, and Rios discusses what these are and how she and the team have accomplished these goals. She also touches on the mental side of the game.
SCB: What's an obstacle that you have overcome or are trying to overcome this season?
BR: For me a big obstacle is my mental game. At this level, everyone has been playing for 10+ years, so what sets everyone apart is how mentally prepared and confident they are in themselves. I know that when I am on, I am mentally ready and have a desire to win. Unfortunately, I have those days where I am not completely in it and I don't play at my best.
SCB: What are some team goals that you guys are trying to meet?
BR: One goal that we have is to not only win our conference, but to make it to playoffs. We are definitely the underdogs in our conference so it would be an amazing feeling to not only prove to ourselves, but to others, that we truly have what it takes to be successful
SCB: How would you evaluate your season so far?
BR: So far, I have never felt more in tuned or comfortable with a team than with this one. It is refreshing to play with girls who want to win and it makes all the difference when we all have such great chemistry. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but we have played some great games and have definitely given some teams a run for their money.
SCB: What individual goals did you come into the season with? Have you accomplished these goals?
BR: During the summer, our team read The Energy Bus, which mainly emphasized how crucial it is to have a positive outlook on life, whatever your role may be. My goal is to be constantly positive through every weight/conditioning practice, field practice, and games; and also be positive towards every aspect of my life. I didn't realize how challenging this goal could be, but I can really tell the difference in myself and my outlooks when trying to achieve this goal.
BR: Individually and as a team, I hope that we still keep fighting and play our game. Playing since early February can take a toll on you, but one that is definitely worth it. Like I mentioned earlier, we have had such great games and I think it's safe to say that this team has had fun and has made some great memories and I hope that continues throughout the season.
SCB: What's been your favorite game this season?
BR: The first one that comes to mind is our second conference game against BYU. The whole series we did so well, but this particular game every element was on: our pitching, our defense, our hitting, our positive support and constant cheering were all there.
SCB: What's the best part about being a Bronco?
BR: One great aspect of being a Bronco is the type of people that are attracted to this school. I have made some great friends not only on the softball team, but from other sports teams and non-student athletes as well. There is this sort of family/community vibe, that you know you won't experience anywhere else.