Question asked via Twitter from @breed744
Thanks for your question! There are so many different career paths that I have thought out! I wanted to Coach for a long time. I was thinking about becoming a DI pitching Coach and had told many people this was what I wanted to do. I started to realize after I had Madison that Coaching would take a lot of time away from my family, and especially her. She is my main focus right now and when we decide to have more children they will all be our main focus. If I were to be a Coach, the travel schedule, as well as long hours, would take too much time away from my babes.
After talking things out with my brother, we both decided on opening up a baseball/softball facility in the Seattle area. The possibilities with something like this are endless. Not only can I coach kids from youth to college, but I can make my own schedule and bring my kiddos with me some days if I need to. I have always wanted to give back to this game, and there is no better place in the world than Seattle! I can be around my Huskies, the Mariners, and my family! I can’t wait to take that next step in my life. I want to help young women get better every single day and do everything in my power to help them reach their dreams within the game!
Maybe coaching my daughters softball team is in the mix one day, but only time will tell!!
I may be too hard on her :)
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this!! I appreciate you guys!
Working for Axe Bat is not just a job to us.The truth is, we love baseball! So naturally when slowpitch season came around, it was time to lace up our cleats and get our butts out on the diamond! Now, we may not have been the best, but we sure had a lot of fun!
The first year Axe Slowpitch team has been all about progress. We all know dynasties take years to put together and we’re no different. Technically, another week remains until our fate is sealed, but we can safely look back at the season as a whole and reflect on the experience for everyone involved. We’ve seen crafty veterans display power, speed, and agility all across the diamond. We’ve also seen highly touted prospects come up only to fizzle under pressure. Team Axe has had its share of up’s and down’s, but we can honestly say that it’s been a great bonding experience and fun for everyone involved.
Starting out the year, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a mix of current, former, and first time players across multiple departments coming out. How would we fare? Could we keep up with the level of competition? Could we even field a full team? It didn’t help that the division we signed up for folded, so we had to be bumped up into a higher competition bracket. Not exactly the best way to start out, but we got after it either way.
The first few weeks were difficult. We got trounced in our first 4 games and started off with an 0-4 record. We knew we were better than that, so it was only a matter of time until we found a lineup and defense that played to our strengths. We identified contact hitters, power hitters, and players with a ridiculous amount of speed. We found our infield, outfield, and much needed catcher of the future. Our lineups were set. It was only a matter of time until we figured it out, and around game 6 we found our stride.
We battled back and played solid ball for the remainder of the season, eventually ending at 7-7. Not a horrible record by any means, but being as competitive as we are, it left a lot to be desired. As we wrap up the season this week with the final rounds of the playoffs, we’ll look to end the season on a high note and bring back Team Axe for another season this fall. Even though the record doesn’t reflect it (right now), we’re all extremely lucky to be a part of such a fun organization and group of people. Nothing beats warehouse employee’s high-fiving management, sales talking to customers about the “bomb they hit yesterday” (true story), and the entire organization razzing Brent (last name omitted) for an 0-5 performance. The experience we all shared goes beyond the ball field creates an atmosphere that only few are lucky enough to be a part of.
I think it’s safe to say you can expect to see Team Axe out there again next year kickin’ some behind (or at least giving it a solid effort)!
The Importance of Work Ethic
I thought it would be a great idea for me to write a blog about growing up and playing this game.
My brother and I played multiple sports. That allowed us to choose what we loved and ultimately, what game we would stick with. I see so many young women these days choosing one sport and focusing on that at 11 or 12 years old, and I think it’s really dumb. It's true that kids are getting recruited a lot earlier these days, but remember if you pour all your heart and soul into something at such a young age, that burning desire you have for it may run out in 5-6 years because of softball overload.
Allow your kids to play different sports. Not only is it good for the mind, it’s great for the body to learn different types of fitness levels. Basketball was my favorite sport to play competitively outside of the softball diamond. I still miss those days of my heart pumping and being so nervous before a big game. It’s a different type of fitness level and it’s VERY quick thinking with reaction time. Those are skills that cannot be taught playing softball. My first recommendation is to allow your kids a chance to choose what they love, don’t force them into things.
After playing many sports, I started to show more love towards the softball diamond. I was a lot better than most growing up, and the game came pretty easy to me. However, like many other athletes, I went through a lot in the beginning. Being told I couldn’t pitch and that I was going nowhere with it, was a true blessing in disguise. That’s where I got my “I’m going to shove it in your face” attitude. I still remember one of my old coaches, she wanted her daughter to be the ace of the team. Here’s some advice, those people mean very little in your life. Control what you can and keep chipping away. Good things will come.
The more I started to practice I realized I was getting a lot better. My brother and I were fortunate enough to have a dad that worked out with us 24/7. We did so much at such a young age that it was just expected when we got home from school. We would either practice in the back yard, or we would go down to the local track and do some running. My dad would hit us ground balls and I would pitch a little bit. This was the difference between being just an okay player, and being a great player. I started training myself at age 12 that it is super important to workout on your own. I carry that work ethic still. I have never been one to suck up to a coach, and I never ever will. I’m one that believes in working your tail off and that will decide your playing time. Working out with your team 1-2 times a week is not good enough. It is what you do on the side that will dictate your future in this sport. Be a loyal teammate, respect the game, work your butt off, and thank your parents.
I sit here now as a parent and someone who is almost done playing a sport that has given me so much, and it blows me away how much I have learned. This game has allowed me to travel the world with the National Team, compete in the 2008 Olympics, help my team win our first National Championship, compete for PAC 12 championships, play professionally in Japan and also play professionally in the USA. When I look at those words typed above, I am humbled and grateful. It will be hard to hang these cleats up, but my next step in life is to be a mom, and help my daughter reach the milestones I was lucky enough to get to. It all starts from work ethic at a young age.
My plans for the future are changing rapidly. My family is looking to relocate to the Seattle area within the next year (probably Alderwood or Mill Creek area). My brother and I are looking to open up a baseball/softball facility. I really have a passion for helping this game grow and passing my knowledge on to young women so they have the chance to play at the highest level. I cannot wait for that.
Thanks again to you all who take the time to read this!
This questions was asked via Twitter from @bbesse (Besse) and she asked:
GREAT questions Besse. Now-a-days trying to cram everything in is extremely hard. What young women have to deal with these days is crazy! Social media, boys, homework, high school ball, travel ball, and trying to work out on their own.
My best advice would be to get your parents to set up a schedule for you. Meaning a visual for young girls to be able to look at and say “Ok, I have practice from 5-7 tomorrow, so my homework slot is when I get home from school until practice time.” It is also a great idea to set a timer while you work. If you have a two-hour window for homework, set a timer every half hour where you can get up from the table and take a 5 minute break. Go outside and get some fresh air!
Kids have many distractions these days with social media. If I was parenting I would take all of that away during homework time, as well as during practice time. I see many girls at the ball field with phones, and it drives me CRAZY! I never had that when I was younger. My focus was softball and hanging with my friends. Kids that are stuck with a phone in their face wanting to tweet and instagram non-stop are not focused on the task at hand. If you’re a parent, have better control on issues like that. One wrong thing posted on social media by your child can dictate their future in collegiate sports as well as their career. Be cautious and on top of it.
Hope this answers your question Besse!
Softball with Maddie on the road!
What an adventure it has been since day one!
I never knew it was going to be this hard, and that's not a bad thing. I'm learning as I go and I have a lot of help!
I think having her on the road with me has taught me so many thing, like how important organization truly is!
My mom travels with us, which is a HUGE help, but it definitely takes a lot of organization.
She has so many things that need to go from point A to point B, so traveling is difficult, especially the 5-10 day road trips.
But in the end it's all worth it to have my beautiful baby girl with me! I wouldn't have it any other way!
Please feel free to post questions that you have for me!
Thanks again to everyone taking the time to read this!!
This week's question comes from @Baybay_2 Instagram:
"What did you do to get recruited?"
Great question! It is never easy to try and put yourself out there for coaches.
First off, with me it helped that I started playing with the national team at 15 so that had put my foot in the door. Once I started playing more, I was approached by the USA coaches asking if I had sent anything out to schools yet. Since I hadn't, they told me I should send information to the schools I'm interested in, let them know what tournaments I would be playing in and that I was interested in their school.
They also said, "Remember, not everyone is going to want you."
That statement could not be more true. The only top schools I got recruited by were Nebraska, Alabama & Washington. I never heard back from anyone else. As hard as it was to swallow back then, now I look back and know that I was MEANT to go to Washington. Be patient. Email schools and let them know you're interested. Put videos up on YouTube so they can see you. Also, don't try and act different on the field in front of coaches. Do what you've always done. Respect the game, your opponents and your family.
Let your playing do the talking.
Thanks for checking in guys
I'm going to answer a question from alex_stewartt on instagram. His question is
How did you bounce back from failure in big stage games at the college level?
Great question to answer. It is NEVER easy to fail at any level, especially in college when you put your heart and soul into everything that you do. Honestly what got me through a lot of tough outings was my mental approach to the game. Here is an example. We played Oklahoma my SR year in super regionals. We had played them already in pre season and had won against them, but they still had hit pretty good off of me. They were coming into our house, so I should have been over the moon excited/confident. Once I got out there on the hill, things started to fall apart. I started thinking the game to much, I started to force pitches instead of just snapping them off and trusting my practice and preparation. I remember I had given up three home runs to Amber Flores that game. Never in my life had one player made me look so bad. I had to tip my cap on the first home run, but it was my fault as a pitcher to allow her to do it two more times. Anyways, I had a brutal day out there, I looked intimidated in my own home circle and clearly wasn't the same person I normally am. I remember after the game sitting in the locker room crying, realizing that I just let my team down and myself down, and that tomorrow could be my only game left in a Washington Jersey. I told Coach Tarr I wanted to sit down and watch the whole game over again and put myself through the situations all over again and relive my emotions and how I felt. It was tough watching me get beat down out there and continue to let it happen, but it made me better sitting there and watching myself fail. I went to bed that night thinking of how I could be better and that tomorrow is a new day and I had nothing to lose. I went to breakfast that day with my dad, and a super fan Ashley Aven who was a super UW softball fan was at the same restaurant. She had been battling cancer for a while, and had been a big part of our team that 2010 year. I remember she was so concerned about me, asking if I was ok and if I was going to be alright. I told her that things were going to be different at the next game. After she had left my dad looked at me and said " How can you sit and worry about your game when someone who is battling for her life is more concerned about you and your feelings." Thats when it hit me that life really is to short, I cannot sit here and dwell on last nights game, I have to move forward and be my best self and leave it all out there on the field. We ended up coming back and winning two games. I threw 14 scoreless innings and took the high road and walked Amber Flores so she WOULD not beat me. Sometimes thats what it takes as a player to allow yourself to be vulnerable and know that you cannot always beat EVERYONE, but I'll be dammed if I let them beat me without a fight. It was smart for me to just put her on and attack the other hitters and it worked in our favor. We made it to the World Series that year and I was able to finish my last home game at Husky Stadium. Your mental approach to the game is what is going to take you to the next level. Find a focal point at the ball park, and put all your energy and negative energy into that. Try and have a poker face as much as you can. Even when you struggle, know that you can always wake up tomorrow and play again.
Thank you to everyone that takes the time to read this!! I'm sorry I have been so distant! It has been tough trying to find time with this NPF season and with baby Maddie!!
Today's Question For Danielle Lawrie come from Kyliegavitt via Instagram:
What is the best way to be recruited by D1 colleges ? How did you do it?
Hi Kylie, great question! Getting recruited by DI colleges is really tough. First things first, you have to practice/practice/practice. A lot of this hard work happens on your own time away from your team. Next thing is to play with a good travel ball team.
It's important that your with a team that is able to travel around to different high end tournaments where a lot of D1 coaches are going to be attending. It is also important to write all the schools your interested in, and let them know why your interested in their school. Also, let them know where your going to be playing in travel ball tournaments.
How you act on and off the ball field is extremely important. Coaches pay close attention to how you act when you struggle and how you treat your family, so remember that. Another thing that plays in to affect is social media. Be careful with what you post because some things can affect you for the long term.
Hope this answers your question.
Our NPF season is underway, so I'm trying my best to keep you guys in the loop as best as I can. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this.
I thought it only made sense to write a blog about me being back in between the lines! Man oh man does it sure feel good!! It was a whirlwind to get here and try and pack for Madison, as well as myself! There were 3 giant bags, a diaper bag, a purse, and one more bag, including her stroller, car seat, car seat adapter! I never realized how organized you need to be until I had a baby and we were going away for 3 months! It is pretty overwhelming.
I'm lucky enough to have my mom down here, to help out with the baby, and travel with us to quite a few places. It would not be possible without her help, that is for sure. We are also lucky enough to have an owner as generous as Don, who is allowing for all of this to happen!
Practice started a couple days ago, and I was really excited to get back out there. Not only was I excited to start training again with a team, but it was just great being around teammates again, and having something in common again with people! Practices have been going well. We have been throwing bullpens, and finally through live to hitters today. We have also done a good chunk of defense, as well as a bit of conditioning added in there. I can't even explain how great it feels to be back. We keep practicing for the next week and a bit and then our season kicks off May 30!
I feel so thankful to be back, and I can't wait until we start games! Majority of our games will be live streamed at www.usssapride.com so please check them out and watch!!
Thanks again for everyone who takes the time to read these and check out my video blogs! I appreciate it!