Sleep, Recovery, and an NCAA Championship

Two softball players display their WHOOP wearables

“We can’t deny the correlation between the run we are on and the fact that WHOOP is on our side.”

– Kelly Borges, Florida State Strength & Conditioning Coach

In Game 1 of the best-two-of-three championship round of the Women’s College World Series, the Florida State Seminoles were clinging to a 1-0 lead over the higher-seeded Washington Huskies in the seventh and final inning. The Huskies put the lead runner on base and were looking to rally.

“I was really nervous,” said Florida State third baseman Jessie Warren. “They had somebody on first with no outs and were gaining momentum. I knew they were going to bunt. In that situation, trying to advance the runner is what we’d do, especially with the top of the order and more power coming up to get that run in.”

What followed was one of the more spectacular plays you’ll ever see by an infielder at any level. Warren charged in to make an unbelievable diving catch on the bunt, then threw to first for a double play that effectively ended Washington’s hopes of tying the score. FSU won the game 1-0, then knocked off the Huskies again the next evening 8-3 to take home the national title.

“I saw the batter’s hands, read her hands really well, and just laid it all out for the team,” Warren told WHOOP. “If that ball drops, they have first and third and they’ve got all the momentum, it’s a completely different game and series. Off the bat I knew I had to lay out. I’ve never done that in my life before, honestly I was super surprised myself I made that play.”

If Warren doesn’t hang on to that ball, Washington may well have been crowned champions instead. What is it that gives an athlete that extra edge, that 1% difference in speed, agility, power, or in this case, reaction time needed to push the boundaries of performance when it matters most?

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