Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
Focusing entirely on having the perfect swing is not always the most important aspect to becoming a great ballplayer. Monique Roberge, star softball player for Queens College, found that out early in her college career.
“I feel that my mental focus has been the biggest improvement for me,” said the junior from New Hyde Park. “I’m big into sports psychology. In high school I didn’t have the same mentality that I do now. I’m able to tame myself.”
Roberge’s exceptional mental focus has translated into success on the field. She was recently an honorable mention for the East Coast Conference (ECC) Player of the Week.
Thus far, her 2014 season has been deserving of far greater. Roberge has led her team to an 11-5 record which puts them in the thick of contention in the ECC. Her .455 batting average is the best on the team. She has 20 hits, 14 runs scored to go along with four home runs and 20 RBI.
Roberge’s terrific plate discipline can be seen by her 11 walks against only three strikeouts, reminiscent of her favorite athlete—Derek Jeter.
“I would definitely like to keep up the numbers,” she said. “But I try not to focus on them. I would rather focus on having three or four quality at bats per game,” she added, showing her maturity beyond her years.
Expecting such greatness often leads to disappointment and prolonged slumps. Roberge’s philosophy is more conducive to continued success because it is not reliant on unsustainable results.
Although she has improved this season, the fact is that Roberge has been a threat in the lineup since her first day as a collegiate player. She hit .370 as a freshman and .358 as a sophomore. It’s hard to improve from those numbers, but Roberge has.
“My work ethic has grown,” she said. “I find that fundamental work is important because it translates into the games.”
Roberge has been named an All-Conference player in her first two seasons in Queens and is well on her way to a third, and possibly an All-Region accolade.
In high school, Roberge also garnered All-County honors as a sophomore, junior and senior at Sewanhaka High School. She was a multi-sport athlete that also dabbled with soccer and basketball before ultimately deciding that softball was her true love.
The Roberge family is predicated on athletics. Both of her parents, Denis and Lucille, are athletic trainers. Her brother, Dominick, is also a multi-sport athlete.
Roberge plans on continuing down that path after graduation. The junior, who is currently majoring in exercise science, has lofty goals.
“I would like to get into strength and conditioning,” she said. Does she plan on giving up the game of softball? Not exactly.
“I want to get into coaching at the collegiate level as well,” Roberge stated.
She certainly possesses the prerequisite traits of on-field success and an affable personality. Before then, however, she has business on the field.
The Queens Knights are competing for a playoff berth. They were fortunate to overcome losing the first two games of the season to Georgian Court and Post University in Clermont, Fla. They have rolled off 11 wins in 14 games, thanks in large part to an eight-game winning streak.
They still have crucial matchups against familiar foes in Dowling, NYIT, Pace and AIC to name a few.
“The goal is to finish above .500,” she said. “Every game on the schedule is winnable.”
The team has the potential for much more than winning more games than losing but it would represent a substantial increase over last year’s 14-25 season.