I had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda Scarborough, former two-time All-American softball pitcher from Texas A&M, who trains with us at trainfastpitch.com. Learn about her approach to the mental side of softball performance and how it can make you a better athlete.
Matt Meinrod: Have you experienced firsthand how not feeling good can affect play?
Amanda Scarborough: Okay, so we girls can be a little emotional at some point. It's fairly obvious when a girl is not happy in her situation and does not feel good. This is why it must be practiced. I coach a Gold select team out of Houston, and we have times when we may go an entire game and not even talk about one physical aspect. We focus solely on how the girls are presenting themselves in different situations during a game. We focus on presentation on the days that our team performs the best, because they are putting more emphasis on their presence and less about mechanics during the game. I know it sounds crazy, but it works, especially for girls 14 and older.
MM: How much time do you spend working on your athletes' mental approach versus mechanics?
AS: Every lesson is going to be different, so there's no set amount. I am huge on body language, facial expressions, tone and attitude. These are things that can be controlled every game. You can't always control whether you hit a home run or strike out a batter. By having a good attitude, you're more likely to fix mechanical issues that day and have a learning frame of mind.
MM: One take home message you want players to get from reading this interview—what would it be?
AS: The big take home message from this interview is to be aware of how you present yourself at all times. Present yourself like you feel beautiful and look good; like you are the most confident person in the room at all times. Be aware of what you look like and what your presence is like in games. Teammates, coaches, parents and scouts will take notice.