TAKE 5 with Jaclyn Traina of USA Softball

By Steven Embree | July 14, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

When our youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best, victory is won on and off the field. Encouraging our kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team – in a variety of ways.

Athletes who come to realize that personal development can be even more rewarding than a win are mastery-focused athletes who build the confidence and initiative needed to succeed – in sports and in life.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with USA Softball standout Jaclyn Traina to get her thoughts on personal bests and personal records.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Jaclyn told us that growing up as a youth athlete, she was not really aware of or focused on personal bests or records.

“I believed that as long as the team won, I did my job,” said Jaclyn.

Once she did start setting personal goals, Jaclyn made sure that those goals were also team-oriented as well. As a pitcher, Jaclyn realizes that her personal performance has a large impact on her team’s results.

“I set goals that will help my team win a game,” said Jaclyn. “My goals are to trust in my defense and my pitches.”

Jaclyn also told us that she believes personal records are important, but not at the expense of helping your team achieve success as a group.

“Personal records are great to reflect on month to month, but not consistently,” said Jaclyn. “I think once you get too caught up in personal records, you lose sight of helping your team.”

Jaclyn added that if she could encourage young softball players to focus on just one particular personal record or goal, it would be simple:

Have fun.

“I encourage young softball players to make it a goal to have fun with your teammates and not worry about stats,” said Jaclyn. “Play fearless and have fun.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Jaylyn, visit ResponsibleSports.com. And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the ice.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.