Written by Student Assistant Genre McAtee
Santa Clara's Casandra Padilla (CP) brings softball to life in her interview with Santa Clara University (SCU). We're sucked into her exciting whirlwind of a world as she talks about what softball means to her.
SCU: What skills are you developing through being on the Santa Clara softball team?
CP: I have had a huge development of mental skills. Softball isn't a game where .500 comes easy. Yes, you can win but you lose a lot more often. I've grown in the skill of mental toughness, learning that with every single negative, there has to be three more positives to plateau. Mental skill will always have room for improvement and Santa Clara softball has been my baseline for strengthening it.
SCU: In your opinion, what's the most valuable skill a softball player can have? What separates a good and a great softball player?
CP: I believe the most valuable skill a player can have is being able to communicate. You can have the greatest natural talent, but if you aren't able to communicate with your teammates on and off the field then that talent isn't worth as much as it should be.
An old coach once told me that there are two kinds of players: one is good but doesn't fit well with a team, the other is a rock, a player who puts in extra time and effort, always willing to do more. They understand each of their teammates individually and as a whole. They lead not only by example but communicate verbally as well. A good player only makes herself better. While a great player helps her team get better every day!
SCU: What do you enjoy most about the sport?
CP: Playing for the thrill of the game. Filled stands, thundering from cheers. The rush standing behind your pitcher as the ball is delivered at speeds of 50 miles an hour and above. The crack of the bat as the ball is sent in the complete opposite direction, the defense shifts, smoothly fielded as you hear the pop of the first baseman's glove reaching for the put out... and all that in under three seconds the umpire is calling her out at first! That's only one of many moments I couldn't live without and what I enjoy the most about softball.
SCU: What do you hope to accomplish before your graduation from Santa Clara in two years?
CP: I hope to accomplish a strong foundation for myself as I step out into the real world outside of Santa Clara. A foundation such as being an attentive listener, a strong verbal communicator, and a confident leader.