I had the opportunity to sit down with Cat Osterman, pitcher for the University of Texas at Austin softball team and Olympic Gold (2004) and Silver (2008) medalist. Learn about Cat's illustrious softball career and how she transitioned from a player to a coach.
Matt Meinrod: What was something you were scared of going into college?
Cat Osterman: I was scared to fail. The biggest fear I had was not being able to hack it as a freshman.
MM: Outside of all the practices, workouts and games at Texas, what were some fun things you liked to do away from softball and school?
CO: I can honestly say for most of my career, I didn't experience a lot of outside fun. It's a good and bad thing, because I can't complain about my career, but my college life definitely wasn't filled with fun stories like other people. When I did get away from school and softball, I liked to paint, write and enjoy the outdoors.
MM: What was more memorable, playing on great teams at Texas and setting personal records, or playing on Team USA and winning gold and silver medals at the Olympics?
CO: Winning the gold medal was the most memorable moment. Nothing has as much meaning as the gold medal and the journey all 20 of us took to get there.
MM: Name something that softball has given you that nobody, including yourself, could have ever imagined?
CO: A glove with my name on it. I never once dreamed of my life panning out the way it did. I wasn't a 10-year-old dreaming of pitching in the Olympics. Everything this sport has given me is a surprise, so to speak. When Wilson talked to me about a signature glove, I think I might have said, "you have got to be kidding!" Let's be honest, I was a 5'6", 100-pound freshman in high school who just wanted to walk on at Texas.
MM: Did you always envision yourself as a college coach, or was that something that interested you later in your career as a player?
CO: I grew up wanting to coach, but I wasn't sure at what level. Once I started giving lessons in college and talking pitching with other coaches, I realized I relate better to older pitchers, so that's when I decided I'd try college coaching.
MM: What has been the biggest surprise, good or bad, since becoming a college coach?
CO: The biggest surprise was the amount of work that's not on the field. We put in so much work to make practices efficient and effective, timed just right, etc. But the amount of office work and paperwork is more than I thought. It gave me a new respect for what my coaches did.
MM: Name something you would change from your past away from the softball field.
CO: I would have applied myself more in class during college. I know I took a lot of interesting classes, but I don't think I made enough time to really make myself learn it enough to retain it.
MM: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you.
CO: Can't live without my cell phone, but I guess it might not work out there, so scratch that. I need a complete set of Harry Potter books, matches and a knife. Granted I wouldn't know what to do with the knife, but, hey, it gives me a chance to survive.
MM: Name one current and one old band, group or song that you're ashamed to admit you like.
CO: I am really not a music person, so this is hard. I primarily listen to country, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I guess the current song I'm ashamed to admit I like is "Call Me Maybe." It's overplayed and silly, but it's so fun to sing along to. For my old song, it's hard to say I was ashamed, because I loved it and I would sing the heck out of it: "Cheeseburger in Paradise," by Jimmy Buffet.
MM: What are your favorite healthy and unhealthy foods?
CO: I love hummus, especially on wheat pitas or veggies. Now the real question is what junk food do I not like? Oreos are my weakness.
MM: Do you prefer softball shorts or softball pants?
CO: In college, I would have told you shorts, but now pants all the way. No tan lines, they move less and they look sharper.
MM: Cheers in the dugout—thumbs up or thumbs down?
CO: I hate to say it, because my college team did them and loved them, but thumbs down. I am more of an encourager than a rah-rah sing and dancer.
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