A Good Mindset, Hard Work, and Support are Required to Compete at the State Level


GCHS has had several teams send athletes to competition at the state level, including these members of the girls swim team.

Ella Drew Bourget, Staff Reporter

Athletes that compete at state competitions put in a lot of extra time and effort to prepare for these events. There are many benefits that come with competing but also a lot of added stress and preparation. 

As athletes prepare for these events, their schedule and routine compared to regular season changes. A big factor to these competitions is time. Senior Jacob Marcum, a state qualifier in cross country said, “The more you run, the faster you will be, so extra training is definitely a must. Overall, extra time is probably another 5 hours a week devoted to running on the weekends and recovery.”

Senior Gus Roberts, who competed at state for wrestling, also believes extra time preparing is essential. “Preparing to compete at a state level takes a lot of extra time outside of just practice. If you’re not putting in work in the mornings or after practice, competing on a state level becomes hard.” 

I wouldn’t be a state level athlete without my teammates. Everyday for months they push me in practice when I don’t want to be pushed.

— Gus Roberts, senior

Not only do these athletes put in extra time right before state to prepare, they also make changes during their season. Adjusting to different opponents is a big factor. E-sports athlete junior Trenton Pigg said, “Throughout the season I’ve had to change game plans for different opponents and change my offensive scheme.”

With all of the added preparation, also comes opportunities for these athletes on the state level. Many colleges come to these competitions to see the best. Russell said, “You are running against the best of the best in your area so naturally, more eyes from colleges and just more fans in general will be there. Performing well could definitely turn some eyes your way which could lead to scholarships.”

Having college coaches at these events added to the stress of wanting to do your best can be a lot on these athletes. Finding a way to stay calm so they can perform their best is very important for these athletes. Jesse Shaddix, junior, said, “Nervousness can effect me a little, but as the match goes on the more it goes away. As I wrestle, it brings out more confidence and a better result at the end.”

Marcum agrees with the stress going away as he competes. “Every time I line up to race there is a factor of nervousness. Usually while warming up, I do some breathing techniques to help me calm down. Once the race starts all the nerves go away and it’s fine.”

Another athlete that deals with this stress is junior Abby Smith.  Smith competed at the state swim meet this year. She said, ”I always take it one race at a time, and refuel after. I tell myself I have to leave it all in the water.”

Support from teammates at these events is something these athletes use to handle stress and become better throughout the season. Roberts said, ”I wouldn’t be a state level athlete without my teammates. Everyday for months they push me in practice when I don’t want to be pushed. It’s not a coincidence we have 7 state placers.”

Pigg agrees with support helping his performance. He said, ”Extra support is huge. I feel like it will get your confidence up and make you want to win even more.”