This week former Olympian Jenny Topping answers my 10 questions. Written By Gary Leland
Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?
A. I was 9 years old when I started playing for La Mirada Bobby Sox. I was fortunate to have an older sister that wanted to play, so my parents asked if I wanted to play. I loved to play street ball with my neighbor friends in our cul-de-sac.
Q. Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?
A. I would say I am most thankful for having parents that recognized my talent and were so supportive of my dream.
Q. How do you get ready for a game?
A. Preparation begins well before the day of a game. In Japan we watch video and really study our opponents strengths and weaknesses. The day of a game for me is listening to music and relaxing knowing that I have prepared for the game ahead
Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?
A. I enjoy crossfit, fly fishing, wake boarding/surfing, and getting involved in my community.
Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?
A. I first and for most LOVED the game which gave me the drive to want to be the best. secondly I had the support of my parents to drive me all over for my softball games.
Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?
A. I love routine, and don't believe in superstitions. I don't allow my routine to run my life, but I don't feel good about my day until I have worked out, and eaten good health food.
Q.What is your favorite softball memory?
A. My favorite softball memory has to be standing up on the podium receiving my gold medal. Looking up at my family in the stands and realizing that this was the moment I was able to give to my family. They will always be able to say that their daughter is a gold medalist.
Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?
A. I recommend the book Heads up Baseball by Ken Ravizza which is a great book on mental training. I believe that the mental game can be more important than the physical part of our game. You have to believe you can succeed if there is any ounce of doubt then you will fa
Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?
A. I would like to remodel historic homes.
Q. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?
A. I have had a few knee surgeries, so overcoming those to determination and drive. Also learning what it was that made me successful when I was successful and how to duplicate it.
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