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Softball  . 

Warren is Ready to Have Fun Again

by Brad Muller

Bre Warren wants to prove something to herself. The redshirt junior outfielder is in her first year at South Carolina after transferring from Texas A&M, where her father made a name for himself as an All-Conference defensive lineman and later starred in the NFL for a decade. Her career got off to a great start, earning All-SEC honors as a freshman, but injuries caused her to miss her second year on the diamond, and she still wasn’t one hundred percent last year. Sometimes a change is good.

“I was a little nervous at first (about transferring) because I had never been so far from home for so long,” said Warren. “Coach Bev (Smith) and the staff here just made it feel like family. It was a very genuine feeling. I saw it when they played last year. They were just having fun. It was fun to watch them play, and I wanted to get to the point where I was having fun playing again.

“It’s just about proving it to myself. I can still have fun and be successful. It doesn’t have to feel like a job all the time. You can still enjoy it, have success, and celebrate your teammates’ success. You can enjoy it again like when you were twelve when you first started playing. That’s the biggest thing I want to prove to myself.”

Warren burst onto the seen as a freshman, hitting .308 with 28 runs batted in to earn First Team All-SEC and All-Freshman team honors. After missing all of 2022, she started less than half the games in 2023 and batted .182.

“Coming back last year, it was a tough process mentally, and physically,” said Warren, who had shoulder surgery to repair her rotator cuff and labrum. “I didn’t feel like I was back to where I had been before. It was a tough process, but I learned a lot about being a good teammate when I couldn’t physically do it. There were some good lessons that came out of it.”

Warren was no stranger to working hard from a physical standpoint, but she also discovered the importance of mental strength.

“I’ve always been a pretty hard worker, but last year I was working hard with more of a purpose,” said Warren, who is studying sports management. “I overlooked the mental side of playing a lot because it came easy for me before I had surgery. Finding out what my cues are mentally and trusting myself again was how I got through it.

“We had meetings with our sport psychologist at Texas A&M, but I also started with a different sport psychologist outside of A&M, and I feel like that’s where I found the most growth. It was nice to see someone who doesn’t see you every day. It helped a lot.”

Bre Warren Fall 2023
“You have to work hard to succeed. You can’t just rely on athletic ability.”
Bre Warren

Warren grew up playing a lot of sports, including lacrosse basketball, volleyball, softball, and track. Despite her father’s celebrity status as a Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Famer, she wasn’t pressured by her dad.

“What I liked about softball was how tough everybody was,” Warren said. “People aren’t afraid to get dirty or to do things that aren’t textbook. You have to work hard to succeed. You can’t just rely on athletic ability.”

She also learned discipline from another family activity, showing cattle from her father’s ranch.

“You have your cows and you feed them and take care of them,” Warren said. “You go to these shows, and we would show heifers, so we would show the maternal features, how they walk, how they look, talk about their breeding qualities, and things like that. It’s another thing where you work hard, and you see your finished product and take pride in that. My daily schedule in high school would have me waking up a 5 a.m., feed the cows, wash, and walk them, and then get ready for school.”

Now fully healed, Warren looks forward to getting back to her previous form in her first season with the garnet and black.

“My main goal is to have fun again,” Warren said. “When I was at A&M, I was working hard to make a name for myself. My name was always tied to his name, and that’s not his fault. You want to have your own career. I just want to have fun playing again and enjoy the people I’m playing with.

“I’m excited to see how we compete against other teams. We’ve been competing against each other for a long time, so I look forward to seeing how that translates into real games. We have a lot of depth this year and a lot of young players.”