“Win the day,” is a piece of advice sophomore shortstop Mychael Goudreau lives by, both on and off the field.
“For me, it kind of means, every day, whether that’s in school or in your relationships, just anything, win the day, give it your best,” Goudreau said.
Goudreau is a business management major from Elk Grove, California, and has had a tremendous impact this year for the Cougars. Only those who know him well, however, are aware that he was actually born in Racine, Wisconsin and loves to play golf.
Goudreau has been playing for the Cougars since his freshman year, and started 25 games last season, quickly proving his place on the team as a strong player. This gave him a sense of confidence heading into this current season.
“Over summer, I was mentally preparing myself to be better. I had to get bigger, be quicker and work on stuff to help me improve to be better from last year to this year,” Goudreau said.
Goudreau played for a summer league team in New York called the Albany Dutchmen. There he was able to work alongside Division-I players and sharpen his skills, preparing to head back to Azusa for another season with the Cougars.
“I played over 55 games in Albany,” Goudreau said. “We had the chance to do infield every day and I got to work on my hand…The repetition really helped me.”
Before Goudreau was ever a Cougar, he played three years of varsity baseball at Jesuit High School as a shortstop. In his senior year, he was voted captain of his team and led them to the Division-I playoffs. Today, Goudreau still claims that as his biggest achievement.
“Ever since then, I’ve felt that I wanted to be a leader for the players and be someone that they can look up to,” Goudreau said.
Being at the top of his game as a senior in high school, then transitioning as a freshman at APU did not stop him from wanting to be a leader, because he did not feel discouraged by his age.
“No matter how young you are, you can always be a role model for others and be a leader,” Goudreau said.
Goudreau’s leadership skills do not go unnoticed by his teammates or his coaches. Junior outfielder Pablo O’Connor sees Goudreau as someone that the players look up to.
“He’s definitely one of the leaders on the team,” O’Connor said. “He leads by example, more than he leads by words, and he leads by working hard.”
Coach Paul Svagdis has seen Goudreau grow as a player and a leader on the team because of his hard work and dedication.
“He wants to get better, so he works at his game everyday,” Svagdis said. “He’s a quiet worker, a quiet leader and a competitive guy. There’s a level of consistency and toughness that he brings to the team.”
Even from a coach’s perspective, Svagdis sees how Goudreau has stepped up as a leader, and he only sees more potential for growth.
“He’s still young right now, but he’s in a position that requires leadership. I really see him stepping into that role and doing a great job at it.”
Goudreau said coach Svagdis has taught him to play for the team because baseball is not an individualistic sport, but this isn’t the first time someone taught Goudreau the importance of teamwork.
“My dad played a big role in teaching me that. He kind of taught me that it’s not all about yourself; you definitely have to play for each other,” Goudreau said.
His dad also played college baseball, and Goudreau remembers playing as many sports as he could as a child, loving the competition. His parents are a big source of support, often showing up at games and cheering him on.
There is a lot to cheer about these days, as the Cougars are nationally ranked and the team is 26-4. Goudreau expressed that the team’s great season is due to their ability to stay focused.
“Every day at practice we want to keep improving, but we don’t want to just go through the motions and settle,” Goudreau said. “It forces us to push harder, but it feels good winning. It helps us to keep grinding every day, to push forward and improve.”
If Goudreau wasn’t playing baseball now, he said he’d be spending more time at the beach and more time with his family, but with his dedication, toughness and natural leadership skills, it looks like Goudreau won’t be quitting baseball any time soon.
“I have no doubt that he has a long career ahead of him,” O’Connor said.
With the support of his teammates, coaches and family, Goudreau is proving to be a promising player for his next few seasons at APU.