story & photo
by Christopher Annino
The third annual Mohegan Sun World Softball Coaches Convention, sponsored by Gold Orluck and Partners, and Americas Game, had a tremendous successful turnout of coaches, players and fans from throughout the nation. Olympic Gold Medalists Jennie Finch and Cat Osterman, of The Stratford CT Brakettes, and NCAA legend and coaching guru Sue Enquist presented an uncanny amount of knowledge to softball coaches and youth ball players. “I have learned a lot and it is a thrill getting to meet my hero Cat Osterman. I can’t wait to comeback next year,” said 16-year-old Lauren Tuiskula, Millbury, MA.
Sue expressed several points that are crucial in conditioning for ball players. “Make sure you take time to recover. Don’t lift too heavily and make your weight increase gradual, if training with weights. Make sure your diet is full of nutritious foods, get proper sleep and the most important, make time for school work because you can’t always depend on athletics to get you by in life.”
Jennie also offered great advice in becoming a focused ball player on and off the field. “The secret to success is to keep things in perspective and prioritize. For example, my religion keeps me focused and helps me through difficult and confusing situations.”
Cat added, “The best advice I can tell any young player is dream big, but work hard for that dream. Too many kids think it will be handed to them. It won’t. When you make it by earning what you deserve, it is more fulfilling.”
Recently, an ugly cloud has plagued the game of softball: it was voted out of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Speculation for the current expulsion is because European countries are seemingly jealous for not medaling or qualifying in past Olympics. Softball is a very popular sport and is played by 50 million people in 125 countries worldwide.
When asked in an exclusive interview about their feelings in regards to this recent decision, Sue, Jennie, and Cat agreed in saying, “There is no reason for this decision, the sport is growing tremendously. Unfortunately there is not a lot we can do. But there is two things that will remain the same about softball, it will grow in popularity and will always be played as a fun sport.”