Will Tallent/ The Paisano
It has been said that life is a balancing act. For PaigeHamilton, this could not be more true. Between pursuing her psychology degreeand playing both softball and volleyball for UTSA, Hamilton finds herselfjuggling the schedule of the only female dual athlete at UTSA.
“[Softball and volleyball] are two completely differentsports,” said Hamilton. “People always ask me which one I like better, but it’sjust so hard to compare them.” Despite the sports’ differences, Hamilton has managedto excel in both. As a shortstop in softball and a defensive specialist involleyball, Hamilton is vital to the success of both teams, a role that sherelishes in.
Between softball, volleyball and school, Hamilton’sschedule is unrelenting. “It gets a little busy,” said Hamilton, “sometimes,you just want to sleep in past 8:00 a.m., but it’s definitely worth it. After agame, the feeling you get is worth it.”
Since volleyball and softball seasons are opposite of oneanother, she never has conflicts with games and rarely with practice. The NCAAregulates that athletes are only allowed 20 hours of practice per week, even ifthat athlete plays two sports.
So Hamilton has to squeeze practice time for both of thosesports into 20 hours a week. Since softball season is currently under way, mostof Hamilton’s time goes to softball.
“I only get 18 hours of softball [per week], so thatleaves two extra hours for volleyball,” said Hamilton, “but volleyball is inconditioning right now, so practice is only once a week.”
Over the course of a year, however, Hamilton’s time issplit almost evenly between the two sports. “If I had to choose [between thesports], I don’t know what I would do. Of course, if you asked me this after asoftball game, I’d say softball. I love getting dirty, I love diving, I loveit, it’s so fun,” said Hamilton, “But if you asked me after a volleyball game,I’d be like, oh my gosh, it’s awesome! The feeling of digging the ball orgetting an ace or running into the bleachers for a ball is great.”
“Volleyball is such a team sport,” said Hamilton, “youcan’t get a good set if you don’t have a good pass, and you can’t get a goodhit if you don’t have a good set. So it all kinda falls in together.” Hamiltonis a defensive specialist for the UTSA volleyball team; she averages .967percent serving and had 289 digs last season.
“I like that softball is outdoors, you can get dirty anddive for balls,” said Hamilton. “I love [playing shortstop], I love being upclose and in the action, you’re always busy there.” This is Hamilton’s firstseason playing softball at UTSA.
Though Hamilton has plans of attending nursing schoolafter college, she has also toyed with the idea of coaching one of the sportsshe loves.
“I’ve always thought about maybe coaching, I mean, howawesome would it be to do what you love for the rest of your life? But I don’tknow if I would be able to be that patient. Plus, I don’t know if I could coachand not want to be out on the field or the court.”
Even if she were to coach, she still doesn’t know if shewould be able to pick just one sport.
“I honestly don’t know if I could pick one,” saidHamilton. “I’m just lucky to have had the opportunity to do both.”