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Softball Legend, Jennie Finch, Visits with The Parent Connection

Volume 2 | Issue 7 | July 2014 | Archive
Softball Legend, Jennie Finch, Visits with The Parent Connection

Jennie Finch and her family
Jennie Finch is one of the most dominant players ever to put on a softball uniform. Her accomplishments, particularly as a pitcher, are legendary. In high-school in California, Jennie had 13 no-hitters, 14 one-hitters, a 0.15 ERA and 784 strikeouts. With the Arizona Wildcats, she was voted as the Honda Award Winner - Nation's Best Player. She was part of the Team USA squad that claimed the World Championship. She’s won Olympic gold, and Time Magazine called her the "most famous softball player of all time."

In 2010, Jennie retired from competitive softball to spend more time with her family.  Recently, she sat down with The Parent Connection to talk about her favorite softball memories, being a parent of a young player, and how coaches can keep the game fun.

The Parent Connection - What do you love most about the game of softball?

Jennie Finch - I adore the camaraderie of my teammates. I love the diversity of so many different skills combined that it takes to play our game. I love to compete and in our game there are so many ways to compete and improve.

TPC - What is your favorite memory?

JF - I have so many. Traveling the country at a young age and spending so much time with my parents will always be my favorite. There was no greater honor than wearing USA across my chest representing our great country. The gold medals and the National Championships are, of course, treasured, but so is the long journey and process it took getting there.

TPC - As a parent, how do you provide positive reinforcement to your child and your child’s coach?

JF - As a parent, I try to stay positive but at the same time honest feedback is important as well. I try to provide a positive environment that my son will enjoy and excel in!

TPC - As a parent, how do you ensure that your child is getting a well-rounded sports experience?

JF - Ultimately your kids have to enjoy it. We let our son try many sports and it just so happened he has fallen for baseball right now. He goes to gymnastics and plays football, too. I think it's important for them to get the diversity not only mentally, but physically as well.

TPC - Any advice for players?

JF - Enjoy it! It's ultimately a game, so have fun! Be the best you can be, but always put the team first. Individual awards are great, but nothing beats those team victories!

TPC - Any advice for coaches and managers?

JF - Give what you want your athletes to give, set the standard and example daily. Know your players, treat them as a team but also as individuals. We all need to be treated differently to be at our best.

TPC - How can coaches keep practices fun and productive?

JF - Keep drills short and sweet. I always try to divide them up in groups for the majority of the practice. I try not to have the kids stand, if possible. Kids love games and competition. When I can combine games and competition, the kids always love it.

TPC - How did you get your start in diamond sports (baseball and softball)?

JF - My parents signed me up for softball when I was a little girl, and having watched my older brothers play baseball for so many years I was excited. I thought, “Here’s something like what my brothers have been playing, but it’s for girls, so it’s even cooler!”
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The Parent Connection - July 2014 - Archive