Meet Chelsea Goodacre
Leading up to the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women's World Championship (19-and-under), December 6-17, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, USA Softball Junior Women's National Team members Cheyenne Cordes, an outfielder from Fairfield, Calif., and Chelsea Goodacre, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., will be blogging biweekly for USASoftball.com.
February 17, 2011Meet Chelsea Goodacre
My father taught me that the only way you can make good at anything is to practice, and then practice some more. - Pete Rose
I am Chelsea Goodacre and I am a member of the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team. I am in my senior year at Temecula Valley High School, located in, you guessed it, Temecula, Calif., where among other things I do there (like school work), I also play softball. The quote above, by Pete Rose, could easily describe me and softball.
Temecula, located 60 miles north of San Diego, is a small town but getting bigger. I have been here for most of my life and it's a great place to live. I play travel ball for a team named Fury on which I am a catcher and I sometimes play third base. I throw right and bat left but I’m not a slapper. (I can slap but I just don’t have that, Caitlin Lowe speed — yet!). I turned into a lefty batter when I was 11 years old, so that I had a shorter distance to run to first base and hopefully beat any plays made there. As I got older and the pitching got better, batting on the left side of the plate has had other advantages as well.
Softball, for me, started off at 8 years old. It was just a good way for me to spend time with my friends and play a sport that did not require me to run, and run, and run, chasing a ball all over a field, while trying to make a goal. Although recently I have been hearing rumors from my future Arizona teammates that there seems to be “A LOT” of running to do there in practice!
As I grew up, I really started to become obsessed with softball. I LOVE everything about this game! I love the competition, the hard work involved and the way it challenges me to be the best I can be at something I enjoy. I practiced all the time, day, right before school, after school, it doesn’t matter, as long as I get it in. If I didn’t feel I did my best in a game, I would find a way to practice more, so I would be better prepared the next time. I would practice in the worst weather conditions, like rain and freezing temperature and on holidays like Christmas Day and Thanksgiving day. I do this because I feel that there are very few softball players practicing on these days, so I will have an advantage by having a few extra days of practice that others do not have!
I love hitting and practicing hitting. I especially like watching video of my swing and fixing things that needed to improve and seeing those improvements pay off in games. As I mentioned above, I am not left handed, so batting on the left side – took a lot of practice and video tape sessions to become proficient at. I spend a lot of time watching MLB players swings in slow motion and I have a deep appreciation for the work they have put in to be the best, especially Albert Pujols, who, in my opinion has the best swing in Major League Baseball. By the way, I can do a very good impression of his swing.
“Someone, please pinch me!” That' s what I keep saying to those around me, because in these last few years, my life and my accomplishments in softball seem like an amazing dream. I am going to play college softball at the school of my dreams and for the most amazing softball coach in the country, The University of Arizona and Coach Mike Candrea. If that’s not exciting enough, I also was invited to tryout and was selected to be a member on the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team! I can’t even explain how amazing a feeling this is! It’s hard for me to believe that this is ME, it’s happening too.
I realized it was not a dream when the USA team gear arrived to my home and I tried it on. Looking in the mirror for the first time and seeing “USA” on the uniform that I was wearing was a very proud moment for me! How can words ever explain how that truly feels? Amazing, proud, excited, and thrilled come to mind. It was all starting to sink in and become real. I will be playing softball for the USA and playing against the best players from other countries in other countries!
What only few people know is that about three months before the Junior National Team tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., I had broken my wrist in a high school softball game. After eight weeks in a cast, my doctor removed the cast and cleared me to start swinging a bat — only about three weeks before the tryout. I had no idea how I would do after that much time off and only a few weeks to prepare – but like always I practiced and worked hard and luckily I did well enough to make the team.
My USA Softball teammates are some of the hardest working, dedicated and talented softball players I have ever seen play the game. Two of them, Hallie Wilson and Shelby Pendley, will be joining me at Arizona in the fall. Each one of them are amazing people and wonderful teammates to have. It’s an honor to play on the same team with them. Each have their own fun and unique personalities that makes traveling, practicing and competing together a great experience. I will share more about our time together in a later blog.
The USA Softball coaches, especially Head Coach Karen Johns, have been a great coach to play for. I have learned a lot of things from her in the short amount of time on the team. Some of those specifically about softball and others carry over into life lessons. One that comes to mind and she exemplifies is staying strong and true to yourself, especially when challenges and struggles present themselves. (And they will, both on and off the field.) Not a bad thing to remember!
The assistant coaches, Coach Suzy Brazney, Coach Stacy Iveson and Coach Pat Murphy, have all made huge contributions to my game and have made playing for the Junior Women's National Team the greatest experience I have ever had playing softball. The times I have spent with the team and coaches, is something that I will always cherish and remember.
I look forward to sharing more good times with my USA teammates and coaches again soon as we compete and bringing home the Gold Medal in the ISF Junior Women's World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, on Dec. 6-17, 2011! Thank you for all of your support. Go USA!