Softball Legend Jennie Finch's Tips for Success | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Softball Legend Jennie Finch's Tips for Success

May 14, 2012

Must See Softball Videos

Arguably the most famous softball player in the world, Jennie Finch knows about success. Among her achievements: two Olympic medals (Gold in 2004, Silver in 2008), the NCAA record for most consecutive wins and "The Most Outstanding Player" Award at the 2001 Women's World Series Championship (her team took first place).

STACK recently spoke with Finch, who shared some of the things that shaped her game and motivated her to win. No matter what game you play, you'll be able to profit from her tips for sports success.

Jennie Finch Quotes for Athletes

Love Your Game
"I discovered winning on the softball field, and I fell in love with it and never looked back," says Finch.

To be the best at your sport, you really have to enjoy it. As a serious athlete, you devote hours to training individually and with your team. If you dread workouts and time spent on the field, you won't put maximum effort into your game. Finch says you should always remember the reason you play—hopefully because you love it—and have fun with your sport.

Embrace Diversity
Finch's strengths as a softball pitcher include control, speed and diversity. "My dad always told me I couldn't have a go-to pitch," Finch explains. "If I had a go-to pitch, then everyone would know when it was coming."

Instead, she developed five different pitches. She says, "Sometimes one pitch would be better, or sometimes it depended on what the umpire was calling. My game plan going in was always kind of to stretch [my pitch seletion] as much as I could. And don't throw a strike if you don't have to!"

Have a Strong Support System
"My dad was my backbone throughout my career," Finch says. "He was the one who spent the hours on the bucket catching my pitches."

A strong support system—whether with family members, friends, teammates or coaches—will push you to keep going even when you're spent. Find people who will make you face your fears and challenge you, not someone who tells you to take it easy.

Be Mentally Tough
Another key to success is believing in yourself. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence will make you doubt your every move. Finch found that battling her doubts and fears improved her performance. "No matter how many times you play, those doubts and fears are going to be there," she says. "Get them out of your head and let them go each time. Believe in yourself, don't let anyone take anything away from you. You only have to prove yourself for you."

Learn From Challenges
"My biggest defeats were some of my greatest life lessons," declares Finch. "It was learning from the situation and turning heartbreaks and frustrations into determination. There will always be a hurdle, but focus on turning negative energy into positive."

So you flub a ground ball or strike out swinging. Instead of dwelling on your mistake, move forward and seek immediate improvement by focusing on doing it better the next time.

Trust Your Preparation
You've spent hundreds of hours training. You've put in the time. Now, believe that you will succeed. Finch: "I remember taking the field for the first time in the Olympics. It was the opening game against Italy, and I had to just keep telling myself, 'This is the same game you've been playing since you were five. You got this. Your teammates and coaches are all behind you...Just take it one pitch at a time.'"

Although Finch's tips may not set you up for  Olympic Gold, she guarantees that incorporating them into your training will help your game.

Photo:  zimbio.com

Topics: SOFTBALL
Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
Must See
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,792,027
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,307,131

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,672
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,880
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,427
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Make Goals, Not Deals

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

Don't Take Your Headphones to the Gym

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

3 Ways to Develop Your Football Warrior Mentality

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

A Coach Describes What It

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

6 Ideas to Build a More Cohesive Team

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

How Mentally Tough Are You?

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science