Courtesy Photo from Daniel Acosta.
Freshman Sydney VanNess is not just any ordinary student-athlete juggling classes and competing in sports. While managing a busy schedule and keeping a high GPA, VanNess details her journey through the athletic world and her progress of being a multisport athlete at EvCC.
You are listed under the 2020-21 LOI Signees as playing women’s soccer and basketball. During this season specifically, what made you choose one sport over the other? Over the past couple of years, I’ve done basketball and select soccer. But, when I got into high school, it became too much for my body to do both during the summer. That’s when my dad advised me to make the decision to play just one in the summer, but keep playing both during school. I decided to pick basketball because I really liked how it made me work a lot harder [while] soccer kind of came a little more natural to me. … [Basketball] gave me a really good work ethic on and off the court.
Have you participated in multiple sports throughout your life or did you start in middle school and high school? I started soccer in first grade, and then as I got older in fourth grade, my dad also got me into basketball and that’s where I met a ton of my friends. I did start at a young age with both of these sports, but I also did play volleyball before middle school. And then, I just kind of stopped because I wanted to focus more on soccer and basketball because I just loved them both more.
Of all the sports in the world, how did you choose soccer and basketball? I was super drawn into soccer and basketball because they were physical sports. … And … being a leader was one of the biggest things. Out of all the other sports. … I don’t think I could play these sports, because they’re not physical enough for me.
What are the differences between being a single-sport athlete versus being a multisport athlete? The biggest thing is time management. When you’re just playing one sport like I am now … I have more time to focus on school and personal things. … But when I did practice both sports in October, I didn’t have a lot of time and … needed to write down what days my practices were because I’m going back and forth from different coaches and different teams.
What are the pros and cons of being a multisport athlete? Do you have any regrets with all that pressure on you? The pro is being able to meet new people on two different teams [and] getting coached by multiple different coaches and getting that experience. … Because I chose basketball, I’ve created better relationships on the basketball team, and I hope to create better relationships on the soccer team when I get back there. The con I would say is that it has been tough on my body physically. … My coaches have been really great, both soccer and basketball, and communicating with me … so that I don’t hurt myself and hopefully I can get back to the soccer team next fall.
What are your plans after EvCC? My ultimate goal is to play at a four-year. … I would love to get a scholarship so that my parents don’t have to worry about that. … The best part of my life is playing.
Would you want to play both basketball and soccer, or just be recruited for one? I think at that level, I would probably have to pick one. But that’s why I’m playing both now is to have two different options. If I do get an opportunity for soccer that I can’t pass up and I really want to do, I’m going to do that. If I get an opportunity for basketball, I’m going to focus on that.
What advice would you give student-athletes aspiring to play at the next level but unsure of their future, to keep them motivated? I struggled with that myself, trying to stay motivated and especially doing it by yourself is very hard. If I set my mind to it and I push myself, then I can do anything. … If you can’t do it by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with giving somebody a call.
You can watch the women’s basketball team compete on May 1, 2021 at home against Skagit Valley College via livestream: