Monica Abbott on Fastpitch Softball

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

The only thing I do is I never step on the chalk line. And I like to visualize my pitches. I see the pitches in my head and where I want them to go and end up.

Is there anybody on the team who is really superstitious?

Laura Berg is a little superstitious. She wears the same shirt under her jersey for games. I think everybody has one or two little things. But really I think softball players just like routine. If you wake up every morning and put on your left shoe first you're not all of a sudden going to start putting on your right shoe first. You don't do it!

Last year you took back the World Cup of Softball title from Japan. What do you expect from them this year?

Japan is a great softball team. They'll be very focused this year. There's a huge rivalry between us. It'll be intense, but fun to watch.

Who do you think might be the most improved team from last year's participants?

I'm guessing China. They're investing a lot. And with the Olympics being in Beijing there's a lot of pressure on them to come out strong.

You've mentioned a desire to become a motivational speaker for elementary and high school kids after your playing days. What sparked that interest?

I'm a communications major and for awhile I wanted to be a broadcaster. Then I took some speech classes and really liked it. To motivate young people is what I'd really like to do. I think young people always need good role models in their life. It'd be awesome to help younger people and tell them where I came from.

I didn't really come from a lot. Just because you don't have a lot of things going for you doesn't mean you can't be successful. You have to go out there, work hard and make it happen for yourself.

You cite famous softballer Dot Richardson as one of your biggest influences. It must be pretty cool to know that you've become a similar role model to girls in the sports.

I don't know what to say to that. It's awesome to know young kids are looking up to you. And to give them something positive -- to be something they aspire to be -- is amazing.

Put your skills to the test with a softball event near you.
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