BY CHARLIE NICHOLS | Ball State Sports Link
A warrior is one that embodies strength and handles every battle as if it were their last.
A warrior is a leader, it is not about self but about the people who fight the good fight with them. To be one you must have courage — and skill.
If there was just one word to describe Michelle Shampton, it would be warrior.
From suffering a season-ending injury, to being a redshirt, the senior from Dayton, Ohio has endured just about every athlete’s worst nightmare.
But, she has not let any of the mountains that have attempted to stand in her way from blocking her from her goals.
To be a warrior you must have preparation before a battle, here is how Michelle Shampton gets dialed in.
It’s a cloudy Friday morning as Michelle Shampton’s alarm rings at 8:00 a.m.
She starts her day drinking plenty of fluids such as Pedialyte to keep her hydrated throughout the day.
After fueling her body, Shampton gets in her car and plays her pregame warm up music and heads to her 9:30 walk through on the field.
“Usually, I like to drive alone for the most part and listen to music because I don’t want to mess around,” Shampton said. “I want to be focused. I don’t like a lot distractions.
“I prepare myself mentally for what I am about to do.”
It’s now 9:30 a.m. and Shampton is on the field at Briner Sports Complex with her teammates for their morning walkthrough to get their heart rates spiked.
Coach Stephanie Bernthal is a firm believer that the first heart rate spike of the day warms your body up to prepare it for the game.
After the morning walk through, it is time to eat.
Before every game Shampton helps herself to a hearty plate of carbs and a bagel. One side toasted with butter and the other side with jelly.
Around 12:30 p.m., the team heads to the locker. The atmosphere is filled with the tunes from Shampton’s pregame warm up mix. Some teammates are hyper while some are focused. Shampton is surrounded by her locker mates Hillary Scott and Sierra Jefferson.
Shampton gets in her zone with her earbuds plugged in, while pondering her strategy to win against Kent State.
“I think about how I want to play individually and how I want to use my teammates,” Shampton said. “I’m usually pumping myself up to prepare for the amount of the work we need to put into this game to create a good outcome.”
To kill time before the game, Shampton begins her pregame ritual before heading out to the field.
“I am very superstitious,” Shampton said. “I like to have everything already prepared in the locker room. Once I get there, since we have a lot of time, I typically put four braids in my hair because that’s my jersey number.”
Shampton and her teammates leave the locker room in a straight line to head out to the field. Prior to the game, coach gives them a motivational pregame talk.
The team then heads to the field to complete drills. They start off with 10 passing drills consisting of short, lifted and reverse passes followed by sweeps and drives. The team does 10 sets of each passing drill.
It is now minutes before the game and the coaches are intense and focused. The energy on the field is high with each teammate pumping up the next as they prepare for battle.
“I do the Ickey Shuffle four times because that’s my number and it prepares me for the game,” Shampton said. “It gets my feet loose and prepares me by getting rid of any jitters I may be feeling. It reminds me of who I am, who this team is and what we an accomplish.”
With the pregame jitters shaken off and high energy level from her team, Shampton is now 100% confident.
She is now ready to enter the battle with her team of warriors. Michelle Shampton is finally dialed in.
Watch Michelle’s story below in the October episode of Every Athlete Matters, presented by Victory Honda of Muncie. Produced by Quinton Zielke and Kyle Bell.