June 23rd, 2011

"20 Questions" With Kyle Just

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

"20 Questions" With Kyle Just
photo courtesy of Spalding University

Spalding senior takes on the Questions

Each week, LouisvilleCatholicSports.com will be getting to know a new student-athlete from the area by asking him/her a series of 20 questions - some in-depth, some lighthearted - that will provide insight into the thoughts and personalities of the boys and girls who are doing great things on and off the local courts, fields, tracks, and courses.

Kyle Just is a Spalding University baseball player going into his senior year. He excelled in his sport throughout this past season in a multitude of ways. As an occupational therapy major from Louisville, Kentucky, Just was named conference player of the week and second team all-conference during his season with Spalding. Just recently took part in the latest edition of LouisvilleCatholicSports.com's "20 Questions," and his answers are below.

1) How did you choose the college you attend?

I spent my first year and a half of college at Georgetown College, but when I realized that it was not the right fit I knew Spalding was where I wanted to be for multiple reasons.  Some of those reasons include that it’s in my home town, my dad coaches the Women’s basketball team here, and financially it was a good fit.  More importantly, I knew some guys on the team before I got here and I knew they were the kind of people I wanted to play with, and lastly the coaching staff had a mentality towards baseball, school, and life that I felt would allow this program to be successful as well as myself individually.

2) What is your favorite part of college athletics?

I love every aspect of it.  I love to compete, I enjoy working every day to see how good of a player I can become, and I like hanging out with my teammates off the field

3) How do you balance academics and your sport(s)?

Priorities and time management. You have to be able to get school work finished around a hectic baseball schedule which means sometimes you have to put school ahead of other things that would be a lot more fun.

4) What is the hardest part about being a student athlete?

Time management once again comes into play.  Being able to balance your sport with school, your social life, and any other activities is very tough at times.  Being tired all the time is pretty much a way of life for a student-athlete.

5) What do you do for fun when you aren’t in class or at practice?

I like to fish, play basketball in the off season, hang out in the dorms with my teammates, or find other things to do with my friends.

6) What is the best characteristic that you bring to your teammates?

I like to think I bring an enthusiasm for the game to the field every day that hopefully rubs off on people.  Also, I try to lead people in the right direction by working hard in practice and playing the game the right way every time I get an opportunity.

7) What does your team do as a pre-game ritual?

The one thing that we always do is have a pre-game huddle in which we say a prayer in thanks for us to be able to play the game that we all know and love and that we stay safe on the field.  Then our coach says a few words after which he leaves the huddle to us and we say some things to each other to get focused and motivated.

8) What music do you listen to before a game?

A long time before the game I like to listen to country to stay relaxed, then just prior to getting off the bus or leaving the locker room I listen to rap to start getting focused.

9) What role does your faith play throughout school, games, and practice?

For me, faith helps me stay calm and keep things in perspective when everything starts to seem like it’s too much, or when things are going overly good or bad on the field.

10) Favorite pro team to watch?

Red Sox

11) What is your coach’s best quality?

He generally knows the right thing to say or do to push us to get better all the time.

12) Why is a team captain(s) so important to the team?

Captains are critical to a team whether they are recognized officially or not.  A coach can only say so much, but when a player, who is an active part of the team, reinforces the thoughts and values of that coach they become much more significant.  The more captains a team has is usually a good indicator of how successful that team is.

13) How does your team handle defeat? What do you say to your team after a tough loss?

In the last couple years, this program has made a pretty drastic turn around in embracing an attitude of winning, so when we lose it hits pretty hard now.  Different people are always going to handle losing in different ways, but there is not a player on this team that is content with a loss.  I take losing as tough as anyone, but ultimately what I know and tell my teammates is that you can’t go back and change what happened you just have to learn from mistakes and redirect your focus to the next game.

14) What is your favorite pre game snack?

I am not a picky eater, so pretty much whatever is around.

15) Favorite movie quote?

There is not one in particular, but probably half of what is said in “Billy Madison”.

16) What advice do you have for young student athletes as they decide where to go to college?

You just have to figure out what is most important to you about a school and a program that you are looking for and find the place that encompasses as many of those qualities as you can.

17) Best smart phone app?

Doodle Jump, hands down

18) How do you think your involvement in college sports and academics will benefit you when you begin to look for a job?

College athletics instill qualities in you that are hard to find such as leadership, organization, hard work, and love of competition.  Athletics also teach you how to deal with things you will experience in the work place such as failure, success, stress, and making sacrifices.

19) What does it mean to play athletics for a Catholic college?

I have attended and played for catholic schools my entire life so it is nice to continue that.  Representing a faith-based university also keeps me focused on what I am trying to get out of both academics and baseball.

20) What is your proudest athletic achievement?

Probably a ten at bat consecutive hit streak that I had this past season.


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