This week, Vikings athletics caught up with fourth-year Vikings basketball forward Hannah Mitchell to see what he has been up to during the pandemic, including training and studying to get her psychology degree and how this summer allowed her to rest.
Q: As an athlete, what challenges and opportunities does this year bring?
HM: I think one of the hardest things about this whole situation is the uncertainty. As an athlete, I have grown accustomed to routine and with having so many unanswered questions during this difficult time, I definitely had to adjust to being left in the dark without that strict routine. For the first time since I was very young, I have so much time! It has definitely been strange being just a student without the athlete part, however I have enjoyed getting to experience different activities that I would not have had the opportunity to do if the season were to be regular. For example, this year I have been given the opportunity to go on trips with my friends, I have gotten to know my roommates on a different level because I have the time and energy to do stuff.
Q: What has the pandemic changed most for you?
HM: So much time to reflect! I have the time to just be, without the constant go, go, go. As I mentioned I have not had this much time since I was in elementary school! In junior high, high school and college I was always booked up, and no time during the week because of classes and practice, and no time on the weekends because those are tournaments and game days. Sunday was really my only day off; even then I would have camps to coach or Special Olympics to help with or just homework to catch up on.
Q: How have you and the team stayed connected during the pandemic?
HM: Throughout the summer we stayed connected through our phones, a lot of FaceTimes and meeting virtually, which for me was pretty difficult. Now that we are back practicing and most of us are living in Camrose, it is much easier to share and be involved with each other. I find it so much harder to get on a personal level virtually, especially with our new rookies!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in your basketball career?
HM: My hopes for this year is to really make the most of it! Have fun, train hard and really just enjoy the experience, so that next year if we have the opportunity to play a season we will be so ready to take on any team. Something that my coach has really pushed is to become the best version of myself, basketball aside. If I can come out of this program as the best version, and someone who pushed to always be better and created meaningful relationships, that is really the goal (plus maybe winning a championship)!
Q: How do you spend your free time when you are not in the gym or on the court?
HM: When I’m not training I usually spend my time with friends and family. I am truly blessed to have a lot of supportive loved ones in my life! I also love the outdoors. I grew up camping and experiencing the great North, so the mountains really share a special place in my heart.
Q: Why did you choose to become a Viking?
HM: The people. Trying to figure out where I wanted to go in my last year of high school was very stressful. However, when I went to any event at Augustana, like games or ID camps, I always felt so welcome. And our fans are truly the best, seeing them at home games really won me over!
Hear more from Hannah Mitchell this Friday morning with Scott Mitchell on New Country 98.1.