Olympian Tairia Flowers answers my 10 questions. Written By Gary Leland
Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?
A. I was probably about 9 or 10 when I started playing softball.
Q.Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?
A. I would say multiple people. Neither one of my parents really knew softball so they pushed me to go all out if I was going to play. My dad was the work ethic. My mom was the “are you having fun, make sure you enjoy it, you did great (whether I did or not)” person for me. I also had several great coaches throughout my career.
Q.How did you get ready for a game?
A. I don’t think I was super specific in a routine. I just want to get my reps in before game time
Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?
A. Now I spend a lot of time with my kids and I kind of like being lazy. I spent a lot of time travelling and playing games so now it’s nice just staying around the house with my family and watching movies.
Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?
A. I was never the most gifted so I was always taught to work. For me and softball and coaching, I always talk about doing extra, give 100% all of the time. Even if you are sick and only have 80% to give, give 100% of that 80%
Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?
A. I would write my jersey number in the ground and I would shake and stretch before stepping in the box, but otherwise didn’t have any superstitions.
Q. What is your favorite softball memory?
A. Being a part of Team USA in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and winning the Gold medal in 2004.
Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?
A. I think it’s huge. If you can’t figure out mentally where you want to be or what you want to accomplish, you’re lost out there.
Q.What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?
A. As a player, not being as naturally talented so I had to work longer and harder than everyone else to end up where I did. As a coach, I have been my entire career at mid-majors so you’re not always working with the most talented athletes.
Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?
A. I’m doing what I love in both aspects, in coaching and being a mom.
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