RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA — Mission Viejo High School Softball player Shayna Glass is no stranger to uncomfortable situations. She craves them, knowing that every moment that feels out of control is another opportunity to grow.
On Tuesday, her 16th birthday, her teammates from Mission Viejo High School drove by, honked and waved.
“Past and present teammates drove by,” her father said. “They represent four different local high schools.”
It’s a tough time for a birthday, and an even more difficult time to be a student-athlete.
Shayna isn’t one to pass up an opportunity. She’s taking the time of coronavirus, and the safer-at-home orders to both help herself and her fellow athletes.
They’re staying in shape and preparing for what comes next.
This week, it was announced that Major League Baseball intends to take the field once again later this summer. Student-athletes across southern California are anxiously watching and waiting for their chance to do the same.
In Rancho Santa Margarita, this 8-year veteran softballer, like many, is facing a pickle: How to stay focused and fit during a global pandemic.
For the sophomore turning junior, this should be a tournament summer to showcase for college scouts. She plays for a travel team out of Los Alamitos, and has plans on playing softball in college. She was batting .410 in 2020, and went into quarantine on Orange County’s High School Top Hitters List.
Instead, she and others like her, are looking at an uncertain future. Instead of frittering time away, she has instead gone full throttle toward her dreams.
Using social media and regular Zoom sessions with other softball players across the country, she’s sharing her hardcore, fun, and sometimes funny workouts with others.
Rick Cowan, of Beautiful Beasts of Softball, told Patch about how Shayna is using her work ethic and creativity to give back to other athletes who may be feeling in a pickle while being trapped at home.
“Shayna is leading Zoom meetings as the host, running fitness meetings for girls across the nation,” Cowan says.
The zoom sessions center on fitness and well-being, with occasional guest speakers who encourage each athlete by providing college recruiting tips contributed by several college coaches across the country.
Even though there are no games, no tournaments, the athletes are far from idle. It’s a new world out there for young athletes.
When asked about personal challenges during the time of the safer at home coronavirus shutdown, Shayna recalls a pickle of a different nature.
She remembered getting caught up in a pickle and was forced to dive into second base, and a shortstop’s spike sliced her knee.
“My pants were torn and soaked with blood,” she says. “A dad who was an EMT told me I needed stitches and should go immediately, but I refused to stop playing.” Instead, she remained focused, taped it up, and played the game to the end. In another instance, a foul ball ricocheted into her face, giving her a huge black eye. “It was swollen shut, but I refused to go home,” she says. “I put sunglasses on and played four more games.”
It’s like her dad taught her.
“He’s told me since I was a little girl, ‘You can have excuses or results, but you can’t have both,'” she says. “This motivates me, and I say this to myself to get going.”
Those lessons of mental toughness get Shayna through painful situations, she says. “If I can play hurt, I can play anytime. When things aren’t going well, I always think about those times, and it helps make situations seem easier.”
For a girl who lettered as a freshman, has attained scholar athletic awards, and the Spirit of the Diablo award, Shayna doesn’t know how to quit.
“Being mentally tough is so important, and if you have it, you need to use it. There are always going to be people who are bigger, faster, or stronger than you,” she says. “There are always going to be situations that are out of the ordinary and harder than expected. It is in these times where if you can be mentally tough, it can help you get through it.”