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The Orion

Athletes combat cold streaks

Senior forward Rajaee DeLane kicks the ball away from a defender during a Wildcats home game. Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Great athletes can affect the outcome of a game just by getting hot at the right time, but after several consecutive missed plays or mistakes, athletes can enter a cold streak.

These can be moments during the season when athletes fall short and don’t perform as well as usual. With the stresses of school and home life, many of the athletes on the Chico State campus have experience hitting cold streaks.

After being able to provide for his team through successful passing and a high volume of shots, senior men’s soccer forward Rajaee DeLane struggled in the beginning of the 2016 season.

He averaged 2.44 shots per game last season, but was not able to have the same results earlier this year. The stress of traveling for games, exams, practices, studying, and also trying to have a personal life made it difficult to focus on the sport, according to DeLane.

“I just wasn’t feeling as focused in the beginning of the semester,” DeLane said. “It’s not something that you can turn on and off, you gotta focus on it all and still perform.”

Although DeLane struggled in the beginning of the season, he found his stride as the Wildcats managed to turn their season around and compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. DeLane scored twice during the season and had three assists.

DeLane has several different holistic techniques he used to combat the cold streak he experienced at the beginning of the season.

“I like to meditate, pray, and do yoga when I’m in a rut,” DeLane said. “When I need to up my training, I try practicing different dribbling drills.”

While basketball season has only recently begun for the Wildcats, junior guard Jalen McFerren has already had experience with cold streaks. McFerren averaged 9.7 points last year and was a consistent scorer from outside with a 40 percent average.

Since starting this season, McFerren has continued to average nearly 30 minutes on the court but has seen a small deduction in his shooting, with a 35 percent average from three-point range. McFerren is scoring 8.6 points per game, slightly dropping his average from last season.

Although he has yet to experience an extended cold streak this season, McFerren said that ones in his past have been caused by stress both on and off the court.

“Everyone can perform, sometimes the stress and pressure gets to you,” McFerren said.

While DeLane attempts to find a peaceful moment to reflect on, McFerren prefers sticking it out through a cold streak and focusing on practice and games.

“During a cold streak you have to keep your confidence up for the sake of the whole team,” McFerren said. “I try to stay focused by practicing getting my shots up and taking time out for myself when the semester gets busy.”

Whether its missing shots or just struggling to focus on the game, athletes at Chico State have all experienced cold streaks and have their ways of fixing them.

Cydney Nance can be reached at [email protected] or @CydneyNa on Twitter.

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