Friday, June 5, 2009

Gotta love this game!

It's a game of failure and all about consistency. Not getting too high or too low. Tonight was a rough one. I'm not a good loser and I hope never to be. I love to compete! I love this game! But I HATE TO LOSE!

These past few months have been a roller coaster ride for me getting back into things. My pitching mechanics have put me through the ringer. I have been battling with them. There has been major internal struggles going inside this body. A major tug o war, nothing like you've quite seen of TV... A tug o war! You try to keep them in your body and far away from your brain/mind... this is the hard part. Not going mental... its not easy. Especially when you are battling yourself daily! I was debating to even write about it publicly but here I am.

I feel many others may have this same struggle and see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This game isn't easy, not even for Olympians! :) (and its not about what you've done in the past, its the past!) I'm not a quitter but when your mechanics won't cooperate its a rough ride. I know mentally what I need to do, its just getting the physical part to comply. It clicked about 2 weeks ago, Amen! I was filled with tears on the mound, finally I felt like I should feel. My pitches were moving like they should and I had that "pop"! Amen, I was dancing leaving the field! Now, its just trying to get my body to do this consistently. For a while I had to make a conscious effort every single pitch and at times it still didn't happen. I did it all, video taped, visualized, analyzed, prayed, it all... over and over. Honestly this was such a tough time for me about a month ago. But by God's grace, a lot of work, believers in me, I'm on my way out. Yes, through tears, struggle, doubt, many hours in frustration, Coaching, and much more it finally clicked. The moment I had been waiting for the magic click.

Now is the tricky part getting it to click each and every time. And yes I am greedy, click without even having to think about it. This is where I want to be. My first outing was on Wednesday night for the Bandits. Wow, it felt good out there. I was so stinking fired up! I'm back! Finally!
Of course, it never comes fast enough! Just when I thought this... well the Lord is keeping me on my toes. Keeping me humble and keeping me grateful for the good times out there.

Then came tonight... well it was a rough one. I didn't have it. I had bits and pieces of it in the pen but it wasn't that magical click. So I battled out there on the mound. There are going to be days where you don't have it, but I wasn't ready to take a step back. I want this train to keep moving! It was one of those days where I relied a lot on my change up and hitting my spots. I felt confident in getting 2 strikes but where was strike 3? I battled and thanks to my defense it didn't turn out too bad. 1 pitch, as soon as I let it go, I knew... I knew. Not good instantly. I haven't hung a screw ball like this one in a while. UGH, I will relive it over and over again for a while. The 1 pitch, the 1 mistake. YUCK! For you pitchers out there you know exactly where I am it with this.

After my outing I went over to the pen and it clicked again. The magic click. Wow, I had my legs again, I was finishing strong on my pitches, I had the "pop"! I know its within its just a matter of getting it there every time I step on the mound. Good news is my speeds were up, 67-68 on Wednesday! Good stuff... tonight there were down a bit. I need to continue to go to work and be as consistent as I can and continue that magic click. Every time. And battle even when that magic click isn't there, you battle and battle confidently. This is what makes you the pitcher, player, person you are... your battle.

It was a rough battle tonight for us on the field. Defensively we had it rough. But there were some great things on the field though at the same time. We came back twice, we had quite a few good at bats. In the end we beat ourselves... this game does this. Its a gut check... Luckily for us we have tomorrow, it is our first series, and we are loaded with talent. Its just a matter of continuing for consistency, working hard, respecting the game, and respecting our opponents. Its going to be a battle all year here in the Pro League, we play each team in a 5 game series. They are going to know us and we are going to know them. This is the best of best here in the NPF. It will come down to many dog fights and many whoever makes the first mistake loses kinda games. What an awesome season this will be! Great times!

However, we are aware of the fight and I'm proud to go to battle with these girls and we will be ready.

Loving this game, the good times and the bad times.

Dreaming & Believing... for the magic click every time!


Anonymous said...

The magic "click" is's in you...I believe in that without a doubt. You have to ease up on yourself a tiny bit. I know you are a worldclass perfectionist athlete..but even Michael Jordan missed baskets from time to time..but I highly doubt anyone remembers those. Sports psychologists make millions every year dealing with the kinds of things you are going thru right you are far from being along in what you are going through. All you can do is lace up those cleats each game and go out there and give it everything within you. Leave it all on the field and have no regrets.

I kinda feel like this is happening so that you take the time to appreciate each and every moment of this season, whether it is your last or not. Sometimes we get so caught up in the motions of life,the things we do with such ease and not much thought..that we don't fully appreciate the talents and gifts that God has blessed us with. And your well is overflowing with talent and blessings. Embrace that..ease up on yourself and soak up each and every moment. I am a competitor, so i know that feeling, but looking back, i wish i woulda lived more in the moment.

Thank you for your unabashed honesty..nobody is perfect and I hope it helps to purge yourself of those fears and doubts as much as it inspires me to know I am not alone and that there is a way to keep on going. You got it go out and believe in that and savor every moment. Hope to get to see you soon. Xoxo

Trisha :)

Rake said...

A great write up. I think this will help many young (and old) pitchers work through things.

Keep up the hard work and God bless.

Jess said...

Jennie! I think something else to consider here is that you juuuust now are starting to hardcore train again. You were traveling a lot in the past year and so, talking about softball more than you were playing it, and focusing upon other young girls who were developing their skills, rather than focusing upon your own skills. Which I'm sure has been a wonderful break! From reading about you and talking to you, it sounds like in the past you had been training day after've taken some time off, it's normal that it'll take some time to get back to being consistently where you want to be, and where you expect your body to be. I'm sure you're doing great, regardless, don't let it frustrate you, and don't forget you areeee a perfectionist ;)
-Jess from Indianapolis

BTatum#7 said...

I know how you feel about your mechanics. I'm 12 and I've started to pitch. I was doing good until I took a little break and didn't practice like I needed to. I'm still going to pitching lessons and the "magic click" is starting to come back.=)
Just so you know I'm inspired by your pitching.

Your the best.

khia said...

i know what ur going through, im also a pitcher and sometimes the click isn't there and when its not u get frustrated ( at least i do) and then i start to wonder if i was really supose of be a pitcher or did my coach and i make a mistake. then i started to believe in myself more and ya no one is perfect heck i wish i was, perfect throws all the time have a perfect game all the time, but thats just a part of life. You have to ease up on ur self a bit, i know ur a world class pitcher USA athlete but everyone has their ups and downs, when you get on that field you have to go out with confidents and knowing that you can do it, give it ur best. i watch u on tv not only u but cat and monica and i prayed i would pitch like you guys some day fast and good pitchers, but i came to relize if i practice practice and practice i can. If i have walked a batter and the knew batter comes out i always say " new batter new count" and don't worry about the base runners, my team will tell me know if they are going" ( well their supose to). but just believe in urself and your pitches will come and that click will come also, God bless and thanks for ur honesty