Photo: Delaware Technical Community College
Delaware Technical Community College student-athletes interviews are back! Every Thursday, Delaware Sports Blitz will feature interviews with the student-athletes from the Community College.
The student-athlete we are featuring this week comes from Delaware Tech’s softball team, which is Kaniah James.
James talks about everything from the best part of playing in the outfield and catcher and why she chose to play softball at Delaware Tech.
Check it out below!
How did you start playing sports?
“I grew up with all my older male cousins racing and playing basketball and football. My mom signed me up for Little League when I was nine years old, and I’ve been playing softball ever since.”
What adjustments did you have to make from the jump from high school to college, regarding the sport you play?
“It wasn’t much adjusting as I have always juggled school and softball at the same time. If anything, it’s just trying to bond with a whole new team and getting to know your coaches. College and Travel ball were more similar as you play both all year long.”
How do you keep yourself in game shape in the off-season for your sport?
“In the offseason, we’re usually still doing things softball-related like hitting in the batting cage or going to the gym.”
What is the best part of playing your particular position?
“I play a couple of different positions, but I love playing outfield because I can dive while going after balls, and I can also throw people out. When it comes to catching, I love building a bond with my pitchers and, again, throwing people out. I also like the perspective of the field, where I can see everything going on and can communicate with my teammates through plays.”
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
“My high school coach taught me that before I step into the box, take a deep breath. It calms my nerves and helps me focus on the task at hand, which is to hit the ball. I’ve always held myself to a higher standard when it comes to how I play, and all the coaches I’ve had in my life have told me not to dwell on my mistakes. I know what I’m capable of, and everyone isn’t going to be perfect all the time.”
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
“Typically, I’m trying to juggle school, work/interning, practice, and games all at once. Usually, I wake up around 8 a.m., go to my internship from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., come home to change for practice and leave by 2 p.m., get to the school for practice from 3-5 p.m., and afterward work on schoolwork. I guess I eat sometime in between everything.”
What do you feel is your greatest strength?
“My big mouth. I’m a huge talker, and I don’t shut up throughout games. I always talk to my other outfielders, to my pitchers, to anyone involved in a play, and whoever is up to bat.”
What do you feel you are weakest at and what do you work on to improve it?
“I definitely get in my head sometimes, and I realized it compounds the issue if I keep dwelling on it. Recently, I’ve been having a hard time with leaving my problems in my life outside of softball and bringing them with me. My mental health affects everything I do, and it’s been hard trying to keep it separate.”
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
“The biggest one for me was definitely going to Alabama for the national tournament with my teammates last year. It was definitely the time of our lives. And, even if we weren’t the best team out there, we were just glad and proud that we made it.”
What is the best part of playing on a team?
“Definitely building bonds with the girls, it’s a good feeling knowing that we are all able to relate to each other and have each other’s backs. You definitely build lifetime bonds with them.”
How do you stay motivated during the highs and lows of a season?
“I just remember the end goal, which is to go as far as we can, so we have the chance to go back to Alabama for the national tournament.”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge for me is the drastic change in my weight due to my hormonal imbalances. I was always known as one of the fastest girls in the state, and it has definitely affected the way I play now in this new, constantly changing body. I’m not as confident in myself anymore in and outside of softball, and it’s been affecting my mental health as well. I’m still dealing with it, but now I can only overcome it by changing my mindset and getting better at other things that don’t involve my speed, like my strength.”
In what ways, does playing a sport, help you with your studies?
“Softball is definitely an incentive to school, and it reminds me to keep pushing in the classroom so that I can have both. But, juggling them does make it more difficult as you have less time to focus in school.”
How would you like to be remembered by your teammates and coaches?
“I want to be remembered as the bubbly and positive person I am. I’m sure they all can agree that I have the loudest mouth too.”
Why did you choose to play at Delaware Tech?
“There were a lot of different factors that influenced my decision to play at Delaware Tech. I was already taking Delaware Tech classes in high school, and I wanted to earn a degree in the least amount of years possible. Also, my best friend Macy Myers is also on the team, and I’ve played with her since I was 13, so I wanted us to continue our careers together. I liked(Head Coach Guy Wilkins’) approach to coaching with his laid-back nature, but also tending to each of us individually to make sure we are fixing what we need to fix so we can be better as a team. He’s very passionate about the game, and I know that he just wants the best for all of us, even when he is tough sometimes.”
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