April 21, 2014
Compiled by Chris Graham, MGoBlue.com
The University of Michigan softball team is supported by a terrific team behind the scenes. For the next three weeks, MGoBlue.com will highlight softball's trio of student managers who are part of the lifeblood of the program.
Experience: First Season
Major: Movement Science
Hometown: West Bloomfield, Mich.
High School: Wylie E. Groves
How did you become a student manager? ... "My friend, Becca Garfinkel, is on the team and she had told me about an opening. I had an internship this summer doing sports medicine with a soccer team in Los Angeles and I really enjoyed being a part of a team. I came back and was looking to get involved with Michigan Athletics, actually in the athletic training field, but Becca said they didn't have that opportunity but they had a student manager position. Since I'm not in the athletic training program I thought that this was an amazing chance to get involved with Michigan Athletics and such a successful team. I jumped on it and emailed the director. Hutch asked me for an interview and before I knew it I got it and was on the field the next day."
What's the best thing about being a student manager? ... "The relationships and how close I've gotten with the girls. It's definitely a special position on the team where I'm able to help them and play so many different roles. One day it might be helping them out with practice, another day it might be someone forgot their shoes and they can't play. It seems small and simple, but going to get their shoes is super important for them; they're not playing unless they have their cleats. The big and small roles and the diverse roles that you get to play on the team, you never know what you're going to get each day."
What got you interested in softball? ... "I was a huge athlete growing up, sports were my life. I was actually a big tennis player, but I played baseball with Becca in Franklin Baseball League. I played a couple years of high school and had a really good experience. I've been a baseball player over the years. I love the sport, I love the mentality, what it teaches you and what team sports teaches you."
What is the most surprising thing about the job? ... "Hutch's (Carol Hutchins) interesting tasks she has me do for her. I've had to run back to the hotel before, which was a solid mile away before the game started because she forgot a piece of clothing. They said, 'Oh you can just run back it's a quick jog.'Definitely those kinds of things when Hutch comes up to me and says, 'Hey Michelle, I've got something for you.' I never really know what it's going to be. Sometimes it surprises me and sometimes it doesn't, I'm starting to get used to it though."
What are your daily duties? ... "We get here before the players get to practice, set up everything and make sure practice is ready to go. Practice starts at 2 p.m., but there's work to be done beforehand. If a player wants to hit some extra front toss, we're there early so we can help them out and have time to set up practice. That's a major part of our daily role. Additionally, cleaning up everything and making sure practice runs smoothly, making sure we're always available and being one step ahead of the game. They give us a practice sheet every day and it's our responsibility to know what they need. During games, one person is in the dugout to be a runner if they need someone to go grab something. I've had to go grab Skittles before for Hutch. Also, we have two managers who film the games so that the coaches can re-watch it."
Contact: Michael Kasiborski