Managing school and playing one sport at the same time can be a challenge, but for Oswego State sophomore Kelly Collins, that challenge includes school and three different sports. These sports include field hockey, women’s ice hockey and women’s lacrosse.
Collins grew up in a sports oriented family, so sports are nothing new to her. Her mom played field hockey, basketball and softball in high school, then went to Oswego State and played field hockey and women’s ice hockey. Recently, Collins’ mom was inducted into the Oswego State Hall of Fame. In high school, Collins’ dad played football and ice hockey, and then went on to Rochester Institute of Technology to continue with ice hockey.
Being around a number of different sports is nothing new to Collins and the experience she got in her childhood is what helped to make her the dominant athlete she is today.
"Growing up in a family of athletes made for an extremely busy childhood," Collins said. "I have two brothers that play professional hockey and a little sister who plays field hockey. My family never really had any down time, which helped me realize how important time management is. My parents know that I will do just fine because the lifestyle I had as a child is carrying on through my college life."
Being able to manage the challenge of playing multiple sports while handling schoolwork started in high school for Collins, where she played field hockey, women’s ice hockey and basketball. Then after graduating from Fairport High School, Collins went on to be a post-graduate for academics and athletics at a prep school in Connecticut. At the school, Collins played field hockey, women’s ice hockey and softball.
After prep school, Collins was recruited by women’s ice hockey’s head coach Diane Dillon to play for Oswego State. Then, before Collins even started her freshman year, she started to get herself involved with field hockey. When her field hockey season was coming to an end, the head coach of the field hockey team and women’s lacrosse team, Brandi Ostrander, told Collins that she should consider trying out for the lacrosse team. During the winter break, Collins practiced lacrosse and made the team’s roster.
With the sports set, the next challenge is to try and balance the sports with school, which Collins says is not that hard for her.
"It is very time consuming but I like staying active and I enjoy the sports and, most of all, my teammates, so that helps me get through each season," Collins said. "It is challenging when it comes to the stresses that I may encounter. But stress comes with everything and that is just something I must overcome as an athlete. School fits in because in order to participate in my sport I have to do well in the classroom, which is great motivation to get my work done. The social life is fine because being on three teams gives me 70 great friends right from the start from all over the world that I will have for a lifetime."
Collins always stays focused and works very hard to be ready for each sport. During the summertime, she finds extra practice time at her parents’ sports complex. Ostrander can see the strong work ethic that Collins has.
"Kelly has a great work ethic; not only on the field and ice, but in the classroom," Ostrander said. "You have to understand that she does not get a break from sports during the year, but she will do whatever it takes to get ready for the upcoming sport [while she is still in her current sport season]. For example, she rollerblades all field hockey season so she can prepare for skating in ice hockey, and then to get ready for lacrosse she will start increasing the cardio during ice hockey."
Collins does not get much of a break with her busy schedule. The only real break that she does get is during the summer. Collins said she wouldn’t mind if there were a few breaks in her schedule, but would never change anything even if she got the chance.