Here you go! Another in my set of blog posts called 10 questions. On these short posts I send 10 questions to great softball players, and coaches. Then I am post the questions with their answers.
This week former Olympian Andrea Duran answers my 10 questions. Written By Gary Leland
Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?
A. I think around 9 or 10.
Q. Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?
A. I think my parents because they supported me the whole way, and made a lot of sacrifices in order to help me reach my goals. They also taught me to work hard. My first coach Phil Vargas because he taught me how to hit and how to have fun while playing. Gary Hanning, my bat buster coach because he tested us physically and emotionally and got us ready for college. Last but not least my UCLA coaching staff because they taught me life lessons as well as softball lessons. They taught me how to be mentally tough, confident, and how to deal with failure.
Q. How do you get ready for a game?
A. I don't really have a set routine I just try to keep myself even keeled because I tend to get too excited and anxious. I do a lot of visualizing. I visualize possible plays at third and getting hits off the pitchers.
Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?
A. I love to travel I try to go a new place every year. I also really love to read. Hanging with family and friends is always a must too.
Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?
A. I think my hard work. In college I would come early and stay late. After college when I didn't have that regiment I had to learn to find a routine that worked for me since it is hard to get all the reps you are used to as a college athlete. I think my game went to the next level when I worked on my mental game. I never really knew about this side of softball until college. I think once I learned how to deal with failure, have fun, and not be so hard on myself I really noticed an improvement. Of course I'm not perfect but I am way better than I was.
Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?
A. No not really I visualize on the foul line during the national anthem but that's about it. I think when we get into playoffs and championships then superstitions come more into play.
Q. What is your favorite softball memory?
A. The Olympics, and winning two National Championships, and two NPF Championships. I think all the fun I have had with all my teammates. At the end of the day you forget the games, and just remember the fun stuff you did with your teammates.
Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?
A. I value it a lot like I said above I think my game improved when I focused on that. My advice would be don't focus on result just focus on the process eventually your hard work will pay off that should give you confidence. All focus on the positive learn from your mistakes and have fun! No one is perfect especially in softball.
Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?
A. I think I would want to be a physical therapist because I feel like it would be very rewarding. I think it would also be cool to have some kind of profession where I could travel like Samantha browns passport to Europe lol.
Q. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?
A. I think my mental game, and I am really hard on myself. I think I get in my own way sometimes. I am so much better now, but there is always room for improvement.
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