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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 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!

Which leads me into another celebration for her, pitching this weekend! She just didn't pitch one shut out but two shut out games! This is TEAM WORK at it's best. Pitchers do not win games by themselves. It takes ownership of everyone's position, being present and ready to make a play for a pitcher to throw a shut out game. Its that simple folks. Don't go making it harder than it is by setting a good pitcher on a platform. Plus a good pitcher doesn't want that place by any means. They want to be in the trenches with their squad, one pitch and one play at a time.


At the end of March 2021 Cailee became one of my "zoomies" to continue her work with me as her pitching coach. She along with Norah Kennely and Gianna Baca made this choice to keep growing forward! .

All three of these amazing young student athletes are long time clients of mine.

Fun fact here, something the pandemic showed me was what I was capable of doing as a coach and what my athletes were capable of doing too!! I extended the offer to all my clients at that time and they were the three that decided along side their parents that they were going to do what it took to continue on building their pitching foundation with me as their pitching coach and mentor. Only this would be in another format and we would continue to act on moments where if I was in their town or they were in my town we would do in person lessons. All agreeing that we would keep this train moving while controlling the controllables!

My family and I relocated at that time due to some uncontrollables and just like my husband and I coach our athletes and our own kiddos; we had to control the controllables and keep moving forward. These three young ladies (Cailee, Norah and Gianna) have came along "so to speak" to continue their journey with me as their Pitching Coach and Mentor. Each of them repping three different travelball organizations in 2 Flagstaff, AZ and one in Phoenix, AZ. USA Athletics 14U Culwell, Scrappers Fastpitch 14U Kennelly, Storm Premier 16U Captain

All three ladies have done nothing but GROW and improve not matter what adversity has came their way. All while building their solid pitching foundation!

The epitome of TRUSTING YOUR PROCESS and no one elses...after all it is YOURS no ones elses! SO OWN IT!!

As Cailee's pitching Coach/Mentor I am over the top proud of her

((SO PROUD OF YOU GIRL!)); her willingness and drive to continue her growth as a pitcher, as an athlete and as a person. Crazy thing is when you have the opportunity to Coach athletes for a long period of time you help them work through tough spots in their lives, like changes on their teams, social issues at their schools, how to manage the manageables and even how they speak to themselves.

Cailee is a young 8th grader and will be in High School next year and its crazy to think that I have been lucky enough to be apart of her journey for this long. Looking back I had no idea that by me getting together with another Coach in town who I knew to coach out daughters both in their first year of little league would I also start the beginning of a beautiful story.

A beautiful Coach/Athlete Relationship.

She is one player to keep an eye out for and follow for sure. As a Student Athletes she does what is needed to keep her grades up as well as what is expected of her on and off the field to keep placing herself in a position to own and do great things!

Keep Growing Cailee Dawn!

Keep choosing to do what others won't do!

HARD work BEATS talent when talent fails to show up!

Always proud of you and thank you for being present and practicing the little things correctly over and over again so the BIG things show up right on time!

Love, Coach Kally V.

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