Junior infielder Ashley Van Zeeland had a solid sophomore season in 2014 and will look to improve again in 2015. The Kaukauna, Wisconsin native was a key piece of the Badger team.
FPN recently sat down with here so we can learn more about her.
FPN: Some advice to people who want to follow your path; what are three things you should do to help yourself improve as a player?
Van Zeeland: My advice to younger players is to play with confidence and believe that you are a great player. Also, always hustle to the next ball/base/play etc. and make practice feel like a game situation. Lastly, have fun and enjoy the experience and appreciate the time spent with your teammates and coaching staff.
FPN: What difficulties did you encounter transitioning from high school to college? (softball or just college wise)
Van Zeeland: One of the difficulties that I faced in college was knowing how to study and how to manage my time between all of my classes. Studying for finals is difficult in college because you need to prepare and make sure that you have enough time to study for each one because you could have two in one day. The hardest part is deciding which finals to study more or less for.
FPN: Do you prefer Gatorade or water, why? If Gatorade, which is your favorite flavor/color?
Van Zeeland: I prefer to drink water during softball games rather than Gatorade especially in warm weather. I do like Gatorade but I would rather drink that after workouts and practices. My favorite flavor of Gatorade is probably grape G2.
FPN: When did you hit your first homerun? How did it make you feel?
Van Zeeland: I hit my first home run my junior year of high school. It was a great feeling because the coaches do everything they can to get their players to be the best that they can and love to watch them succeed.
FPN: Who or what inspired you the most to pursue your dream?
Van Zeeland: My parents and high school coaching staff have inspired me to continue my softball journey into college. Without them, it would have been impossible to get to where I am today. They have been there for me throughout my whole softball career and will continue to travel those long distances to watch my team play.
FPN: What genre of music gets you most ready to play a game, why?
Van Zeeland: Listening to music before games keeps me relaxed and gets me excited to play. I have no specific genre that pumps me up but I do enjoy pop, country and 90’s music.
FPN: At what age did you decide that you wanted to become an elite/college softball player, why?
Van Zeeland: My junior year of high school is when I began thinking about furthering my career into the collegiate level. I attended a few softball camps and always enjoyed listening to the college girls perspectives and hearing their advice as current softball players. It was also cool to interact with the coaches and see their different coaching styles throughout the different states.
FPN: What is the best movie you saw this year?
Van Zeeland: My favorite movie that I watched within the last year is Fault in Our Stars.