Last week I was in Florida for the USSSA National Convention, and saw Jessica Mendoza. I figured it was as good as a time as any to start, so I asked Jessica, and she agreed to answer my 10 questions. So here is my first 10 Question Interview With Jessica Mendoza. Written By Gary Leland
Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?
A. I started playing baseball when I was 6 years old. I started playing softball when I was 8.
Q. Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?
A. My father, Gil Mendoza. He is a baseball and football coach, and of course has always been my coach. We have had our battles, but at the end of the day. I would never want anyone else teaching me the game and how to be a role model.
Q. How do you get ready for a game?
A. Eating is mandatory. Good meal that is healthier, but also has enough calories to last me through pregame and the game itself.
Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?
A. I love spending time with my family, whether it is my husband Adam, my son, my parents, my sisters, my brother, cousins, you name it. I love family. I also love to travel, snowboard, backpack/hike, and work out (yes I like working out).
Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?
A. Humility and insecurity. Ironically, my insecurities as a player (not thinking I am good enough, so I have to work harder) have made me more secure as a person (more confident, sure about who I am and the decisions I make)
Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?
Q. What is your favorite softball memory?
A. So many memories. Winning a gold medal at the Olympic games is going to trump any moment though. Absolutely incredible feeling… Pride for your country plus pride for the hard work, teammates and everything you have done in the sport up until that moment.
Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?
A. Complete value. It is what changes you from decent to outstanding when you can understand and strengthen your mental game. There are a million drills and countless hours spent on the physical aspects of softball, take time every week to analyze how you handle failure, ways you can learn from your at bats, understanding what your strengths/weaknesses are as a player without someone telling you
Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?
A. Professional snowboarder. They have the coolest lifestyle, the best sponsors and they travel from beautiful mountain to beautiful resorts all over the world.
Q. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?
A. Handling myself as my own worst enemy. Not being so hard on myself that I lose confidence in my abilities and literally take the talent right out of my game. I have had to play my absolute worst softball against even lousy competition to realize how much I needed to gain perspective and develop myself into a stronger, more confident, mental player.
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