#FlyTogether: Setting Ourselves Apart

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Rising junior Jak Birdsong of the Transylvania men's soccer team experienced a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and an NCAA appearance in his first run with the Pioneers soccer team. After recording a third-place finish in their most recent season, Birdsong details the road back to the top of the HCAC and what the conditions of the pandemic have required from himself and his team as they keep their 2020 goals in focus.

by Jak Birdsong

This is tough. There's no way around the fact.

Everyone is impacted; it takes many different forms but we all feel the challenges set forth by what is currently going on in the world.

For our team, the spring is a very valuable time to get better and push for our goals in the upcoming fall.

This spring season being taken away especially hurts.

We were putting in a lot of hard work. Guys were giving everything they had in the weight room, pushing each other to work as hard as we can in every minute of training.

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One of the most special features of our team is that we know we are on a mission year-round. We see it when we step in the locker room and when we sit down to discuss our goals as a team.

More importantly, we are constantly thinking about those goals and how we are going to achieve them as a TEAM. I believe this is the reason we are able to cultivate so much success.

As a team, we talk about not becoming obsessed with our goals. For obvious reasons, this can be a counterproductive mindset.

This spring, we found the perfect balance of commitment and realism. Guys were doing the work, showing up to the field to do more than our opponents.

While we aren't at school rushing from class to lifting, eating as a team, training, and grinding out homework, there is still a mission that remains in the back of our heads. Everyone on the team knows that we are working to win the HCAC. We are pushing to see how far we can go in the NCAA tournament.

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Right now, it is back to the basics. Working out in home gyms. Heading to the field by ourselves. Runs in the neighborhood.

Doing everything we can to set ourselves apart when it comes time to get to work in the fall.

I know the moment we are back together we are going to be hungrier than ever, and we will be ready to attack our goals.

This pandemic is just a small setback in our journey. I know everyone on our team would agree that we accept the adversity because it is an opportunity to work harder than our opponents and come back even stronger.

That's what makes our team so special, that's what makes the Transy community so special.

Toss anything our way and we are going to overcome it.

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