Athlete In Focus: Ysabel Ayala

Article by: DeeDee Aeschliman

Being involved in any varsity sport is not a walk in the park and undoubtedly a big time commitment.  While this may seem rather disheartening, most athletes are able to derive some form of joy from engaging in physical exercise. However, even the most duly of athletes may find it hard to persevere through an entire season.  As such, we all admire the three season athletes for their tenacity and dedication.

Ysabel is one of these athletes.  She is a well-rounded individual and an avid participator of first season volleyball, second season touch rugby, and third season softball.  While this does appear incredibly physically and mentally draining, Ysabel does not view it so.  She is motivated by “the love for each sport” as well as her dedication to her coaches and fellow teammates.  Ysabel admits that she started each of the sports she plays as a “fun trial”, but that with time she grew committed, and eventually felt “an obligation” to her team and to herself “to carry through”.  To Ysabel such an obligation is not an encumbering burden; it is “a privilege”.

DSC_0070Unfortunately, three-season athletic commitments may be difficult to maintain due the heavy load of the IB coursework as well as the college applications that loom ominously closer over our underclassman and juniors.  As such, time management is key.  Interestingly enough, although Ysabel used to find it difficult to balance her schoolwork and extracurricular activities, she’s come to realize that playing sports actually has forced her to become more efficient.  “Whereas other people get home at 3pm and procrastinate with that extra time, I get home around 5:30 or 6 and realize I have to work already,” Ysabel states.  The only downside however is that sometimes she does find herself sacrificing sleep.  Nevertheless, overall she has found a balance between keeping up her studies and playing sports.

While Ysabel likes all the three sports she is involved in, as they all have their own perks and enjoyable qualities, Ysabel admits that she is most passionate about volleyball.  This is due to to the unyielding support of her father, who grew up with the sport and subsequently always encouraged and supported her to play.  “Outside training is always initiated by my dad,” Ysabel comments, “even if it’s just me and him at the beach volleyball court!”

In the future, Ysabel has goals to better her game in every aspect of every sport she plays.  She has had a pretty great year across the board for many seasons, and declares that time only pushes her “to finish next year just as strong or even stronger.”  Indeed, we do have strong reason to believe her; her diligence and persistence have never proved otherwise.