BY CLAY BRYCE | Ball State Sports Link
Controlling emotions is a difficult task. Senior setter Amber Seaman has become a master in this department in her fourth year at Ball State.
The setter is the centerpiece and delivers the ball around the court to teammates. Naturally, they become close with each of their teammates. Seaman has undoubtedly connected closely with hers.
That close bond has driven her a long way. All the way up to the fifth spot all-time for assists with 3,647 in Ball State history.
She is also ninth all time for service aces with 122. Not to mention she is the reigning Mid-American Conference setter of the year. Seaman, one of the most prolific setters in Ball State history, has had a wonderful career and isn’t slowing down yet.
From being a nervous freshman to a dominant senior, this is how Amber Seaman gets dialed in.
Friday, Oct. 4, 2019:
8:30 a.m. with the grogginess still in full effect, Amber Seaman reaches for her phone and scrolls through social media to start her morning off.
After a little while, it is time to head to The Caffeinery in downtown Muncie to get the fuel she needs. She orders a cinnamon roll latte and maple cream cheese bagel to get her day started.
Luckily for Seaman, she has no classes on Friday. She can sit back and relax with her roommates; Kate Avila, Sydney VanBeek, and Anna Jensen.
Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right are switched back and forth while Seaman watches her roommates do their homework.
The clock strikes noon and it is lunch time. Panera Bread is on the mind of Seaman. She decides to have her food delivered to her.
Once she receives her food, it’s time to dig in. She wants to eat lighter for lunch, so she ordered a salad and soup to munch down on.
By 2:30 p.m. the group heads to the locker room. With their house only three minutes away from Worthen Arena, it’s a short walk.
When Seaman gets to the locker room, YouTube is already pulled up on the TV. Content creating star, David Dobrik, blares across the locker room.
Then the pre-game meal rolls around at 3:00 p.m. Ruby Tuesday is set on the table this week. The team scarfs it down fast to make sure they have time to go on the habitual Starbucks run.
With it being the spookiest time of the year, naturally, Seaman chooses to get the pumpkin cream cold brew.
4:15 p.m. Game time is getting closer by the second. Seaman heads to get her treatment before the game. She uses this time to get composed.
“I get mentally prepared, too,” Seaman says. “I’m getting my body physically ready to do all of the things I have to do. I take this time to calm myself down, visualize, and then go over the scout. It’s really important that we know that and then just get game mode ready.”
With treatment she gets stretched out and does fine tuning on her body. She pictures everything that she needs to do to come out with a victory. The senior is seasoned to the game and knows her mind and body. She has found the perfect formula for her mindset going into the game.
“I found that over the years, there’s a fine balance for me between getting too amped and not excited enough. So luckily, I’ve had three years. And figured that out. So now it’s the optimal level for me.”
After her muscles are stretched out, she heads back to the locker room to be with her team. She immediately gets in line to get her hair braided.
“You have to get in there and call dibs on if you are getting your hair braided first or not. If you don’t call dibs, you might not get your hair braided.”
Better get in line quick.
The locker room antics are not done yet. There has to be a quick dance party before anything continues. Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” resounds throughout the room.
As the songs end and the team brings it all in, it’s time to concentrate. The team begins to focus more on the game as they collectively talk about scout.
“We just like to make sure that we all know what we’re doing and that we’re on the same page. Energy wise as well.”
How could energy be low after Mariah Carey?
Serve and pass drills come at 5:00 p.m. The warm-up begins and players begin to run through the motions. Seaman uses this as her time to get close to the in-game feeling.
“We have our routine. We do the same thing every time, which is really nice because that also helps me feel like I’m getting ready to be playing in the game.”
Once serve and pass is done 30 minutes later, the team heads back to the locker room. Music is flowing through the air once again, but it’s time for the players to have a solid feeling of Northern Illinois.
“We will play music and get ready as a team. We will do a quiz over scout to make sure we know everything. We all need to be ready as a team. We will talk to the coaches on who’s playing and the strategy.”
Seaman needs some alone time to fully get her in the zone to play. Before meeting with the coaches, she will leave the team for a moment to do a couple solo stretches. She heads to the outside ring of Worthen Arena. No one is around and she begins try and process her feelings.
“I acknowledge my emotions. Sometimes I might be feeling anxious or a little worried. Then I tell myself that these are all normal feelings to have.”
She tells herself that “You don’t need to have them because you’ve done all of the preparation. You know your team is good. If we do what we are supposed to do on our side, then we are going to take care of business.”
Seaman returns back to her team for them to take to the court. It’s coming to full fruition.
Digging lines begin and Seaman is always the first to start it. She has a small superstition when cross court digging lines begin Seaman has to yell “LINERS.”
“It’s weird, if I don’t do it. One-time last year, I didn’t do it and I ended up being terrible. So, I was like, we have to do this every time.”
Seaman then delivers a high five and saves her best friend Kate Avila for last. With the two being as close as can be since freshman year, they have built a deep bond.
“At one point, we were the only two freshmen on the court,” Seaman said. “We both knew the we played important roles on the court and we were both really nervous. We always do it last, so sometimes I’ll be waiting for her to high five everyone else.”
The team is now lined up for the National Anthem. Seaman is bringing up memories of her state championship win with her high school the Brebeuf Braves.
“At the end of the National Anthem we would always say, ‘Go Braves.’ I still say that in my head. We played the state game here in Worthen, so it brings back and amazing feeling of winning state whenever I say that to myself.”
Time to shake hands. Seaman routinely touches the corner of the court before she goes to shake Northern Illinois’ hands.
Everyone on the court is set into their positions waiting for the first serve.
Seaman is back running through scout in her head. Her seeing the fans in the crowd delivers that emotions of being out on the court. She is feeling the bliss of playing volleyball with many of her best friends. To her, they are now family.
With the clock striking zero all of the emotions she felt are now secondary. It’s time for Amber Seaman to do her job. She is now dialed in.