Now that I am 25 and am living my dream of playing for the U.S. Women's National Team with my sights set on competing in 2020, I can't help but to look back on who I was at 12 years old. If I could give the younger me some advice it would be to enjoy every minute. I would tell myself don't be bothered by the people who tell you that you can't, but make sure you really listen to the people that tell you that you can. I'd tell you to trust Mom about that speech class that you want out of desperately because you can't stand the thought of getting up in front of people to speak. I'd tell you to keep the faith through this journey because you're about to go on the ride of your life that is going to lead you to exactly the person you've always wanted to be.
Lesson No. 1: Enjoy every minute. There are still so many times that I think back to travel ball moments when I was 10, 12, 16 and 18, and just smile because those moments were special. It was just about playing the game and getting better. Building friendships that will last a lifetime and learning who I wanted to be. It wasn't about stats; no one cared who got the job done. We just wanted to win and have a blast doing it. And man does it go fast, so enjoy it.
Lesson No. 2: Ignore the people who don't get you and say you can't, but listen to the ones in your corner saying that you can. When you're 12, someone will actually tell you that you won't play Division I softball. You're too small and skinny; you look breakable. But then in that same week, another coach that you know believes in you, will tell you that you can do anything if you work hard enough, that it doesn't matter what people think they know about you and what you can do. If you listen to that first coach that doesn't totally get you as a player, you won't be here living your dream. You'll learn to recognize the people that are truly in your corner. Listen to them. (Read more here)