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Two sport athlete relies on “mind over matter”

Senior takes on two spring sports and learns how to balance busy schedule

Darling charges ahead of the other runners. | Photo Credit: Apprentice Woods

When the last bell rings, most students head home to their after-school jobs or to spring sport practices. For senior Max Darling, his day consists of school, sometimes several practices and games, and homework to top it all off. Darling stays very busy during the spring. This is because he has chosen to play two of the sports offered by the school this spring season.

Darling has played baseball every year of high school, but decided to try something new by running track this year, in addition to baseball.

Darling was noticed for his speed by his teammates and friends who then helped to encourage him to join the track team.

“People told me that I seemed fast, so they told me to come out and I have my place on the team and it’s really fun. I'm having a good time,” said Darling.

Taking to track quickly, Darling now runs in the 100m, 200m and 400m races as well as the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. Both Darling and his teammates in the relays have been successful this year.

“This is the second week in a row that, for the power rankings, the boys track team is ranked number one in the state...that is probably the coolest thing I've ever felt before because I've never been a part of a team that was this good, so it’s really cool to experience that,” said Darling.

While Darling says he is happy with his own performance on the track team, what he really cares about is how the team is doing and wants to focus on making the team the best that it can be.

Photo Credit: Apprentice Woods

“I feel like on a team level, we still have things to work on and that's what I care about is the team...I don't really care about how I do, I want to win as a team,” said Darling.

Track is not the only team that Darling is worried about. He is also committed to the baseball team and is working to put in just as much hard work and dedication on the field as he is on the track. Playing two sports simultaneously comes with challenges, especially when practices and games for each team conflicts with one another.

“[Practices] overlap just about every single day. Currently, I’m going to baseball over track, but with our position in track, that might change a little bit...I'm committed to both and I want to go to both, but I have to choose one,” said Darling.

While balancing such a busy schedule, Darling says he finds it hard to find free time, but he is happy with the choices he has made for himself and wishes he would have played both sports every year of high school.

“There's no time to do anything on my own. It’s either homework, sports or hanging out with friends and there's no in between...It's tough, but it's the life I chose to live,” said Darling.

Regardless of the challenges that come with playing two sports, Darling is pushing through and finding a way to be the best teammate he can be for both teams.

Said Darling, “Obviously, after meets I’m exhausted, I’m tired, but, I mean, it's all in the mind. Mind over matter.”

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