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The Art of Balance

January 19, 2012

Name: Nychele Fischetti
College/University: Biola University (Calif.)
Year: Senior
Major:  Human Biology with a minor in Biblical Studies
Sport: Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track

1. What is one thing you didn't know as a freshman coming into college that you wish someone would have told you?
To be honest there is nothing new that I discovered during my time at college that I wished I had known before. Biola was much more than I ever expected, and going to Biola was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

2. What do you like most about competing in college sports?
I love how competing collegially forces me to work harder and compete at a higher level which in turn has resulted in me improving in my sports. Unlike high school sport competitions that are localized to the state in which the athlete resides, college sports allows for athletes to compete with individuals from all different states and parts of the world.

3. What do you like in your teammates? 
I love how my teammates and I are like a family. We are so close and able to talk about anything. They encourage me in all aspects of my life, especially in my relationship with God.

4. What do you like most about your college team?
I love how all the people on my college team have the same foundation in Christ. It is from that common ground that our team is able to grow together and be so strong. 

5. Do you have a mentor? If so, who and what is the best piece of advice he/she has ever given you?
I do not have a mentor, but I get most of my advice from my mom. I am a person who is easily stressed or worried and she has always reminded me to just take things "one day at a time." I can't do it all--but God can, so rest in that!

6. What is a unique strength you bring to your team?
I think one of my strengths is diligence--working hard in and out of practice even if I'm sore or not in the mood for it. 

7. What is one thing you do in practice that helps you reach your goals?
During practices I am able to help my teammates meet goals by putting everything that I have for that day out there. I often lead practices so it is important that every day, no matter what, I run at the same level so that I can carry my teammates with me.  

8. How do you get focused / pumped up before a big meet?
One big way that we focus as a team is to read motivational note cards that our coach makes for us. On the cards, there are Bible verses, things to remember about the best way to run that course, and reminders of all the hard work we have put in so that our race result reflects the team's goals. 

9. What are your plans after graduation? Do you feel that being a student-athlete has helped guide you in that direction?
I plan on getting married, working for a year, and then applying to grad school to become a physician assistant.  I definitely feel that being a student-athlete has helped guide me. Competing in sports has taught me so much about life and about myself. I have learned how to endure hard work because running is a sport that doesn't end in a few months; it continues all year long and throughout the summer.  Running has also forced me to balance my life not only athletically but also academically and spiritually.

10. What has been the greatest moment in your college sports career?
Placing second as a team at the NAIA national cross country race in 2009--only losing to the first place team by three points. We were not expected to do that well and it was such a happy and surreal moment. To come back the following year and again get second place was such an awesome experience that I will definitely look back on throughout my life. 

11. Talk a little about your character. What skill sets have you learned by competing in college sports?
Being on a team with all different types of people and coaches has definitely taught me patience--not everybody does things the way that I do and that is okay! Again, competing in college sports has drilled in to me how to work hard no matter what, and those characteristics have spilled out into the other areas of my life.   

12. How will that help you later in your future career or in a leadership role?
I think that competing at the college level has helped me to become a well rounded person. Through running, I have learned many skills and how to use them consistently. Though I love running and I put so much of myself into it, I've realized that running is not everything. There is much more to life than just my school and my sport--it is the relationships with others that really count.