Athlete Spotlight: Cailee Culwell USA Athletics 14U
Where do I even begin with this athlete spotlight moment. Well in order for me to paint the picture of growth in this young female athlete to whom I work with one on one in pitching...lets go back so you can see how far she has came.
I started to coach Cailee along side my daughter (it was her first year) and their little league team. Oh they were little and so cute! From there Cailee's love for the game grew so much that as she took an interest into pitching her parents asked if I would be her pitching coach. I worked with Cailee for a little bit and then she hit a place where she didn't know if she wanted to commit to the work that had to be put in pitch anymore. Her parents both being former athletes themselves and her mother being a former college softball player, well they knew that she had to want to do this in order to get better.
I think a little less than a year passed and her mom reached back out to me to see if I had any openings in my schedule to start working with Cailee again. She also expressed to me that this was all Cailee's "want." They asked her what she wanted to do to get better that Summer and she said "I want to go back to working with Coach Kally." From there I knew that Cailee wasn't in this because she was the one that her teammates could count on because she was athletic and capable, she was in this to build on her craft, her love of this position and to get her pitching mechanics back into sequence. This gap in her training with me is one of those building blocks to Caliee's foundations, she was hungry and wanted to eat and I had a feast of tools for her to build on!
Since then Cailee has constructed not only solid mechanics to stand the test of time but she also has been diligently working on constructing her headspace, her #mentalmadness. With this also comes emotional intelligence of being present when everything in her body is telling her to run and hide in her head. This past weekend I was able to see her physical, mental and emotional GROWTH in action! Man was it a delight to watch in person too!
So much so that she was selected as the MVP from the team that they beat in the Championship game to win the "SHIP!" CONGRATS LADIES!!!
Cailee has grown in her position as a pitcher to understand and comprehend it isn't just about just pitching strikes and striking everyone out! Yes that's good but that mentality can actually crush a pitcher under pressure when they can't control the controllables.
Pitching is about allowing yourself to re-set and re-focus each pitch. Just like a UCLA former Head Coach Sue Enquist preaches "EVERY SWING MATTERS" well in Pitching, I'm here as Coach Kally V. owner and CEO of Kally V. Softball preaching...
"EVERY PITCH MATTERS!"
Every practice pitchers have to build on their ability in TRUSTING themselves and also in their defense. In turn their defense trust the pitcher but also their capability to make a play in their position.
"Teammate: It is your responsibility in owning your position on and off the field in order to make your teammate look great. While doing this they will own their position on and off the field and in turn make you look great!" -Coach Kally V.
Be the teammate you want to play with, the teammate you want to go to battle with!