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Mental Game Prep

 

I thought I would write a short blog about my approach to how I get ready for pitching.

If I'm told I'm going to have a start in two days, I do a lot to get myself ready. I love being able to get a great sweat in the day before I'm going to throw. I will usually run foul poles. Basically I  jog/sprint the warning track and get my heart rate really high, then let it drop back down and repeat. I run 10 poles total (so there and back on a baseball field is one). If I'm doing it on a softball field I would do a total of 20 poles (just because it is so short). After I get a good run in, I will always finish with some type of ab workout and push up circuit.  The reason I love to get a good workout in a couple days before I pitch is more mental for me. Some people like to rest their legs before, but I like to really get my legs a lot of work in so I know there prepared to go to battle when I throw. 

 

Everyone prepares very differently for a game. I wouldn't recommend going and running right before your going to start a game, but do whatever you need to do to get mentally ready! That's where it all starts! Getting the mind right! 

 

Please feel free to post your questions that you would like me to answer in the upcoming blog weeks! Thanks again to everyone taking the time to read this!! 

 

 

xoxo

Danielle Lawrie

 

 

Have a Great Friday and Get Active!

Working out is such a huge part to success, especially the older you get. It was a challenge for a couple months after I had Madison to figure out what I needed to do to get back into shape.

In college we always did tons of running and lifting, so I still incorporate a lot of that into my workouts. If I do any cardio it is either the elliptical for a little bit, or I will do some sprint work on a treadmill if I cannot get outside. There is a couple different workouts that I have absolutely loved that I recommend. First off I have done Insanity created by Shaun T (you can get that at beachbody.com or off of Amazon). Honestly, that was one of the hardest 3 months of my life doing that. It is circuit training and it lasts for about 45-60 minutes 6 days a week! If you want to get in shape and shed LBS quick - that is the workout for you! You definitely get mentally tested in it for sure.

The next series I have done (and loved) was also by Shaun T; it is called T25. It is a 5-day a week program that lasts 25 minutes a day! It incorporates strength, core, and circuit training. A very good workout for a mom on the go!

Lastly, I love just doing circuit training on my own! I found a really great workout on Fitnessblender on YouTube who does all different workouts, and I will do them when I have some free time! They fully explain the workout, and show you demos before you do it so you have a pretty good idea of what you are going to do! I recently found out about it and love it!

It is super important to stay active these days, even if it is getting out there for a walk, or putting yourself through a really tough workout! You feel amazing afterwards, and that is something that makes it all worth it!

 

Have a great Friday everyone and get active!

 

xoxo

Danielle Lawrie

 

Drills to Help with Pitching Speed

I was asked on twitter recently about some drills to help improve speed.

Being able to throw hard comes from a lot of different things. First off, it comes from having great mechanics. The better your mechanics are and the more fluid you are, the better chance you will have to throw hard. Yes, being very tall and lanky helps, but that is not the number one thing you need. There are plenty of pitchers out there that are below 6’0 that can throw the ball very hard.

One drill that I would recommend is long toss – this is a great way to help build up your arm strength and generate a lot of power from your legs. Remember that your legs are the power source that help get your body started, so really use them when you do this drill. Also, you are trying to get the ball to go up as high as you can and as far as you can, so you need to make sure that your body angle is correct when doing this.

Something else I would recommend, are focused workouts on lunges, squats and core- these are all things you really need to understand how to utilize. So building leg strength, even just by body weight workouts, can benefit you. Also, really focus on your core, lots of ab exercises as well as running can help. The more fit you are as an athlete, the better chances your body will allow you to have out on the field.

Hard work pays off, so treat your body like a temple.

Hope this gives you some helpful little hints!

 

Danielle Lawrie

Axe Bat One-Hand Trainer

Train harder with our one-hand trainer. The Axe hand is ergonomically designed to fit your hand, meaning you can train longer with less fatique. Our team went out to the batting cage to show you how to properly use our one-hand trainer.

Check out the video!

Day in the life of a D1 Athlete

I thought it would be an interesting blog topic to let you all in on the life of a D1 athlete! It is not easy, that is for sure! I will say this, the one thing I really had to learn was planning. Your days are so packed that if you do not have stuff planned out, you can get yourself in trouble. It is an extreme grind, but it is worth every second!

 

6 AM weights – We wake up at 5:15 and head into weights. We are there at about 5:45. What I learned was that if you are on time, you are late. Weights last for about an hour and then we usually finished with light conditioning.

8:30 AM Class- Most of us have class that starts at 8:30. So we will go to our locker room, shower up and get ready for class. We have to make the trip up the hill, sometimes in sideways rain, up to class. Majority of us have class until around 12:30, sometimes 1:30, and then we have to make our way down to get ready for practice.

1:30 PM Treatment- I always had to get treatment on my body. Whether it was my arm, or just rehabbing, but I was always in there getting something done.

2:30 PM Practice – Everyone is usually dressed and ready for practice around 2:30, or a little after 2:30, to get ready for our 3:00 PM practice. Remember if you’re on time, you’re late. We warm up as a team, and our practice plan is up on the chalk board. Practice usually goes for about 2.5 - 3 hours.

6:00 PM Dinner- We have a facility where we all eat dinner as athletes. You do not have to do this if you are living off campus, but my freshman year I ate in here because it was so close and it was always convenient after practice.

7:30 PM Tutoring Session – As a freshman (and sometimes upperclassman) you have tutors that help you with your vigorous schedule. Tutoring sessions are usually scheduled for after dinner.

8:30 PM – We head back to the dorms, get ready to study and finish up our homework.

10:30-11:00 PM – This was always when I would head to bed, I needed to get enough sleep to be able to recharge for the next day.

 

Obviously every single day brings a little something different. Some days we would have condition instead of lifting in the morning and sometimes classes are different times. For the most part though, this was my life for the first 2 years. It is so incredibly tough to get used to, but at the end of the day you make the decision to be the absolute best teammate you can be. You realize how hard everyone around you works and this makes you want to work hard for everyone too. I loved every single minute of college and wish I could go back! Cherish the days you have when you are there because it goes by SO FAST!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

Make sure you post any questions you might have for me on here or via Twitter @DanielleLawrie5

 

xoxo

Danielle Lawrie

Team Canada

What a great question!

I had so many amazing memories with Team Canada that is it hard to pick just one, so I have two!

The first one is when we beat Team USA in 2005. I was going to be throwing that game, and Team Canada had never beaten Team USA before in history. I remember our Coach making it pretty clear that it wasn’t looking good for us to get a win against them. That is when it hit me: she was putting me out there to get beat, and made it obvious by how she was speaking about it. I remember getting so excited to take the mound against them because I felt like I was ready for this challenge. We ended up winning that game and I threw 7 innings! We won 2-1. It was honestly one of the best moments in my softball career. It was also just before I was going to the University of Washington. It was nice to be a part of the first team to beat USA, and the fact that I was able to pitch every pitch of that game made it even more special!

Another special moment playing with Team Canada was getting the chance to compete in the 2008 Olympic games. Since softball is out of the Olympics for right now, it made it even more special. We did not do as well as we wanted, but the memories I will have from that trip make it so worth it.

If you have any questions, make sure to post then on this blog or via twitter and I will try to answer as many as I can!

Danielle Lawrie

 

Don't Let Social Media Destroy You

As you all know, social media pretty much rules the world now. 

   

When it comes to things you want to know, you can find it all out via twitter within seconds, sometimes even faster than the news. They now post everyone’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook info when talking in interviews on the news and in the papers. Who knew this stuff was going to get so big one day. 

Social media is a fun way to connect with people, reconnect with people, and keep tabs on your loved ones. However, it is also something that can do damage to you permanently. I’m so lucky that I did not have to deal with this while I was growing up on the softball field. I have realized now that is can be a huge distraction to young women. Why I’m writing this blog is to warn, not only young women, but also their parents in the importance of being cautious about what is going up online in your child’s life. Anyone and everyone can have access to those posts. It takes one person to post a bad picture of you, or you writing something bad about someone else, to ruin your career.

Be cautious of what you post. A college coach has the option to check all of those things, and at times that can be a huge factor in whether or not they recruit you to their school. If they see derogatory photos of you up on the internet, or pictures of you getting drunk with your friends, this will obviously raise concern with them. People need to realize how much a college coach invests in you when they give you a scholarship opportunity. Not only are they giving you an opportunity to get a first class education, you are joining a new family. Think about if you were to invite someone new into your family, what traits would you want from them? How would you want them to act off the softball field? What is important to them in their lives? These are things you need to think about. How you treat your family when you’re at the ball field is something that coaches watch and take pride in. If you disrespect them, or your teammates, what will you do when you come to their program? It would be an easy decision for me to say no to people like that. It’s unfortunate when you go to games, and see 9 & 10 year olds walking around with cell phones. I remember those days and those being some of the best days of my life just hanging out with my teammates at the ball field. I loved not having that distraction. I understand it is a different world we live in, but always be cautious about those things.

                I’m a big karma person. Respect the game, work hard, and the game will reward you back. It is how hard you work when your off the field, how you focus on your studies, how you respect and play for your teammates, and most importantly, how you love and respect your family! All of this sounds easy, but you can get caught up in some many things these days. Strive to be a little bit better every single day. That's what matters.. Yes, it is important to win games, but is it even more important to be a GREAT person. Remember that.

 

 

Thank you guys :)

Danielle Lawrie

www.daniellelawrie15.com

Written by Kirsten Shreve — July 21, 2014

What's the Next Step?

Question asked via Twitter from @breed744

Hi Bryan,

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!

 

Danielle Lawrie

www.daniellelawrie15.com

 

 

 

 

Team Axe

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

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!

 

Danielle Lawrie

www.daniellelawrie15.com

Written by Annie-Rose Schindler — July 14, 2014