🥎 Keeping Up With The Freshmen: Madison Hirsch
Kansas softball’s 2020 season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving an entire team of student-athletes in shock. In this latest series (Keeping Up With The Freshmen), we talk with the 2019-20 freshmen student-athletes to discuss how their first year of college went and what they learned from the experience.
Freshman Madison “Coco” Hirsch appeared in 17 games with 11 starts for the Jayhawks. Her .421 batting average (16-for-38) was a team best for the 2019-20 season.
Q. How do you think your first year at KU went?
“I think my first year at KU went extremely well. Traveling so far away from home was something new and a little intimidating, but I knew that I would have many resources at KU to help with my transition. Starting classes toward my degree was so exciting, but also much more difficult than high school courses. Learning how to dedicate more time to doing schoolwork was a challenge, but it makes the success worth it. Being on a team with an amazing group of girls made the daily grind much easier, and seeing our hard work pay off in our short-lived season was so rewarding, which makes me even more excited for the 2020-21 season.”
Q. What was your favorite moment of the 2019-20 year?
“While its hard to choose just one moment, I think one of my favorite moments was when our team beat JMU. We did such a great job executing plays, and everyone stepped up when we needed them to. It was such a fun and lively experience in the dugout as well hearing everyone go wild, which makes this game one of the most memorable in the 2019-20 season.”
Q. What was the biggest change going from a senior in high school to a college freshman?
“The biggest change I experienced as a freshman in college was the responsibility. Living without my parents for the first time was liberating, but I knew that I would have to take on more responsibilities. Learning to manage my money, schoolwork, softball and social life was difficult, but I had a great support system along with me the whole way.”
Q. How are you using what you learned this year to prepare for 2020-21?
“Over the course of the school year I learned how to balance my tasks more efficiently, which has helped me have less stress and increased my productivity. I am using my new study habits and eating habits to better prepare me for the next year.”
Q. What advice do you have for the incoming freshman to make their transition easier?
“I advise incoming freshmen to not be afraid to ask upperclassmen for help and to learn how to balance your responsibilities. We have all gone through this transition and know how big of a change it can be. Your teammates are here for you to comfort and help you throughout this process. Also, balancing school, softball and a social life can be challenging. By planning out your days and time that you will need to do schoolwork, you will feel less stressed and then have more free time to unwind.”
Q. What is one thing you wish you would have known prior to starting your freshman year?
“Before starting my freshman year, I wish I would have known the importance of creating relationships with my professors. Introducing yourself as an athlete and regularly attending office hours can make a big difference in your professors’ perception of you. They also appreciate you showing your diligence and work ethic for the class while you have so many other things going on. This has helped me tremendously when needing help or extra time on my assignments, as my professor knows that I want to succeed.”