The keys to life

Pacelli student Daniel Bollingberg has been an athletic standout, but playing piano has also been a big part of his life. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Pacelli student Daniel Bollingberg has been an athletic standout, but playing piano has also been a big part of his life. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

It can be very difficult for a high school student to juggle school and three sports throughout the year. It’s even more difficult for them to play three sports and have another serious commitment on the side.

Pacelli senior Daniel Bollingberg certainly doesn’t need any extra hobbies. He stays busy enough playing football and baseball for Lyle-Pacelli and hockey for Austin.

Although those sports occupy much of his high school likfe, Bollingberg also has a unique way to unwind from the pressure and grind those sports bring on him. He is an avid piano player who loves to sit back and fire out a blaring song on the ivories.

Bollingberg plays the piano on his own and he also plays in competitions in the Twin Cities, which can  make him quite nervous. While he also feels nerves when he’s competing in sports, Bollingberg said that playing the piano can bring a different kind of pressure.

“I get much more nervous for piano. It’s not even close,” he said. “With sports I feel like I have the skills that I need and I’m always ready for a game. Music it’s a different thing. If you mess up one time you don’t really have an opportunity to fix it. It’s one shot and done.”

Bollingberg is the leading rusher on the LP football team this fall, he hit .556 for LP’s baseball team last spring and he was one of the top hitters for the state qualifying Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team last summer.

Competing in sports year round certainly fills up Bollingberg’s calendar, but he’s always able to make time for the piano.

“I try to play as much as I can with my schedule. Both my brother and sister play, so it’s kind of become a tradition. We’re always playing,” he said.

Bollingberg started playing piano when he was younger after his parents pushed him to start playing it. He was a little reluctant at first, but the instrument grew on him over the years.

Bollingberg has aspirations to play college baseball, but he’ll probably be playing the piano long after he is done competing in sports. There are very little physical limitations on sitting down and playing the piano.

“The older I got, the more I learned to love piano. When I get older I’m going to be really grateful for it and I’m going to do it as long as I can do it,” Bollingberg said.

The piano competitions can be hectic for Bollingberg, but sometimes it helps him just to sit back and play in an empty room on his own. With the sound of the piano filling the air, it can put Bollingberg at ease and relieve whatever is ailing him at the time.

“It’s nice to come home and take a break from homework or sports and just play,” he said. “It’s a really good stress reliever. It’s something that you can do for fun whenever you want.”

When it comes to competition days, Bollingberg usually picks a song that will grab the attention of the audience.

“I like the fast, uptempo ones and the loud ones for competitions,” Bollingberg said. “But I really like any type of song, I like being able to master a song and play it well like it’s supposed to be played.”

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