Double the work, double the play

Sleep. Wake up. Soccer practice. Classes. Eat. Classes. Volleyball practice. Sleep. That’s the life for two student athletes at St. Thomas University. Emily Cronkhite and Mija MacDonald play on both the women’s volleyball and soccer teams.

(Michael Bourgeois/AQ)
(Michael Bourgeois/AQ)

MacDonald is in her first year at St. Thomas. Through high school she played both soccer and volleyball, so she’s used to work, but the load is heavier now since she moved from Ontario to Fredericton.

“I’ve always been use to training up to three times a day back at home too, and I still managed to get through my work there,” said MacDonald, but just keeping track of her day to day schedule is a chore by itself.

“They’re always changing, so everyday I’m literally texting, ‘hey, what time are we at today? What are we doing today?’”

MacDonald had been playing goalkeeper but now she is taking a break from the position due to a wrist injury. She had been receiving extra training on top of her usual soccer and volleyball practices for the goalkeeper position. MacDonald also considers herself a social person, which makes time management all the more difficult.

“I’m really good at hiding,” said MacDonald, laughing. “I know that when I need to get something done that I can sit myself down. I’ve always been really good at time managing.”

A tough decision comes when then the two sports conflict. MacDonald’s teammate, Cronkhite, has had two years of experience playing both soccer and volleyball, and this will be her third. Before STU, she went to Fredericton High School, where she also doubled up in sports.

Cronkhite prioritizes by whichever sport is in season. Both teams start practicing at the same time, but games for soccer start earlier.

“If there’s a conflict, I go to soccer, but once volleyball comes around, then it’s volleyball,” said Cronkhite. “In the summer there are not too many options for volleyball, so I played on a women’s team for soccer.”

But with all the practices, training, and class work, life can get tiring. Sometimes Cronkhite wishes she could just keep hitting the snooze button.

“There are some days when it’s harder to get up because you are just so tired,” said Cronkhite.  “There’s definitely a couple days where I need to take a day to myself and just work on school.”

Double sporting does come with its rewards. Chief among those rewards is the extra group of people MacDonald and Cronkhite get too bond with.

“You’re able to do so much more, and see so many more people,” said Cronkhite.

Other benefits include road trips, and being able to compete year-round.  Another plus is Cronkhite is more in shape when she volleyball games start as she’s already been playing soccer.

(Michael Bourgeois/AQ)
(Michael Bourgeois/AQ)

Another tough decision comes at the end of the year, as she has to decide which team to sit with at the athletics banquet. But it doesn’t take her too long to figure it out.

“Actually with the soccer team,” said Cronkhite, laughing. “I’d been with the volleyball team for a while, so I try to regroup with the soccer team. Sometimes I’ll go get ready with the soccer team and afterwards meet up with the volleyball team.”

For MacDonald, she doesn’t have the benefit of already being around for a couple years. She is concerned about missing out on some bonding with the volleyball team.

“I want to get a feel for the team, but it’s hard to do that if you’re not playing with them,” said MacDonald.  She is thankful to already be spending time with one of her volleyball teammates in Cronkhite.

“That’s actually awesome that I already know someone on the volleyball team,” said MacDonald. “She can totally relate since she is doing the exact same thing as me.”

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