Geneva softball standout Anna Geary has spent the past week of summer like a carefree teenager – that is, when she’s not icing her knee.
Geary said she could get used to “just doing nothing,” after making regular visits to the mall and pool, and going to movies with friends
But the unusual free time in between her summer softball commitments isn’t why the 15-year-old enjoys the extra down time.
To the sophomore, it’s time to heal before heading to a softball tournament in California.
“It has been nice to have a week off and to relax,” she said. “I’ve had time to hang out with some of my other friends. But when it comes down to it, the week has been really nice to have off to give my knee a rest.”
Geary was slowed by the re-emergence of an old knee injury after a taxing 10-day trip to Colorado with the Wasco Diamonds travel softball team
A trip to an orthopedic doctor before competing in the 14U and 16U Chicago Metro tournaments revealed that the outfielder was suffering from a bone contusion and loose lateral ligaments.
“I’ve been icing my knee all week and the rest helps a lot,” Geary said. “With the rest, it really has been doing a lot better.”
The healing time will be short-lived.
On Friday, Geary and the Diamonds will head to Huntington Beach, Calif., to compete in the Premier Girls Fastpitch Championships with 49 other travel teams.
“Anna always aspires to play with and compete against the best,” said her father and Diamonds coach, Shawn Geary. “This will be a great experience for her. The time off was nice for her and well needed.”
Geary said it has been an adjustment running with the added weight and restriction of a doctor-recommended knee brace during practice and a slimmer version during games
“Yeah, it was really weird at first,” she said. “It’s hard sometimes in the outfield. Running feels strange with the weight of the brace but I think I’m used to it by now and it helps a lot.”
Shawn Geary believes the brace won’t hinder his daughter’s performance.
“She wants to be in the lineup every day,” he said. “I’d have to drag her off the field. She has such a passion for the game. It seems like the knee is doing really well and the new brace she has seems to be helping.”
The second-team Chronicle All-Area outfielder also continues to work with her hitting coach, Bill Morrow. Hitting is the area Anna Geary would like to improve most this summer.
However, Shawn Geary said he has a hard time finding holes in his daughter’s game.
“Her success has been based on her work ethic and love of the game. It’s her passion to be out there and she is constantly putting the time in to get better,” Shawn Geary said. “She is a rock. I can count on her to be consistent and reliable every day and set a good example for the team.”
To Shawn Geary, Anna’s biggest potential for improvement isn’t found in the batter’s box or the outfield.
“My only thing with Anna is she is just too much of a perfectionist,” Shawn Geary said. “There are times I would wish she wouldn’t put so much pressure on herself. She needs to realize what all she is achieving and how great it is and not be so hard on herself.”