Welcome to beyond the diamond, the podcast that goes far beyond the game. I'm your host, Danielle de Ruben, and I'm here to empower young women, parents and coaches in the world of fast pitch softball. As the owner and founder of Dear 3, fast pitch and passionate about bringing you inspiring stories, valuable insights and expert advice to help you excel both on and off the field. So whether you're a player. Looking to take your skills to the next level, a parent supporting your young. Or a coach. Seeking to make a difference, you're in. The right place. Let's dive. In and go beyond the diamond together. Guys, it's coach Dee. With DR3, fast pitch. Thank you for coming on to this week's episode of Beyond the Diamond, and this week I have a special guest speaker. I got to meet her at the NCAA Convention right when I met her. I just loved her energy. I loved her spirit, and I loved how she wants to just continue to grow the game. And I was like, hey, let's bounce on this podcast really quick. So I'm. So happy to have coach. Jasmine Esparza she played four years at UCF. She's a current college coach right now and Jasmine again, just thank you so much for coming on to this week.
'S episode no thank you for having me. This is definitely a blessing for sure. Meeting you was something that I needed just to kind of, you know, like you said, we bounce off each other, that energy, and it's amazing. Glad we are.
Here. No, I love it. And one of the things that really caught my attention right from talking with you, I just knew we were at the same age. So, like, right away, we said you played at UCF, which is University of Central Florida at D1 program and you're from California, correct?
Yes, ma'am, born and raised in California.
All righty. So born and raised in California, traveling all across to the East Coast to play college softball. I would love to just kind of start off talking about your college journey, how you got there, your background kind of in the recruiting process, a little bit, which I know is a little different than most of the girls. I'd love for you to kind of talk about that. And then. Feed into your experience at UCF.
Perfect. So let's start. I guess we'll start off with the recruiting side of it. Like I said, like you said, it's a little different than most people for me. I actually grew up playing baseball for majority of my life. My dad got me into it up until just about high school. From there, he transitioned me from 14 and transitioned into softball and right off the bat. Decided to go straight into 18 year olds. Has division at 14 year olds, which was. 14 years old. Which was for me, was amazing. It was an amazing experience, allowed me to grow as an athlete a lot faster than most, and it challenged me with that experience. I was I had committed as of my going into my sophomore year. So I think I was 15 years old when I verbally committed. To go to UCF. I was very. And and I.
I gotta pause you for one second. I just have to pause. We just have to, like, touch on this subject really quick. OK. So you played baseball up until you were 14, and then you jumped into the softball world being 1415 years old, playing with the 18. You girls like, how on earth? Let's talk about that transition really quick.
That was hard, that definitely 100% was difficult because of the fact that I do remember. I think there was twice in a showcase that had me pinch run and I stepped off the. Bag and I was like. Oh my God. Whoops. Oh no. OK, I I promise I won't do that again. I'm not doing that. I was an accident, and he was he are my head coach at that point. His name is George Cologne. Amazing guy. He he laughed at me so hard. He was like, yeah, it's different. You have to stay on the back. And I was like, I'm sorry. Forgot. About that part of it. But honestly, the game as it's it was better. It's faster, it's more intense like. Like, girls are just. It's just different. Like we just like to speed up the game and it made it that much better. I love playing with the boys, like, you know, having that energy. But they taught me how to be tough. Like, I was always like the daddy's girl type of person. And my dad was like, no, if you want to. Play with the guys like. You better figure it out. So that allowed me to figure it out in the softball side of like. OK, people are better than me. Well, I need to figure it out. I need to figure out how to be there.
You mean you just the maturity level that I just hear in your voice right now and then just knowing the maturity level that you had to have 15 playing with 18, you girls by the way, but then also just playing with the guys and keeping up with them and like just what was that transition a little bit from just playing with boys to playing with girls who were three years older than you?
That was hard, so playing with guys and what's crazy, I'm still really close friends with a lot of them now. They're like brothers and like older brothers to me playing with them. They they kept me on my toes because there was always, sometimes that it was like difficult to communicate with them. But I always got along with guys just like I was very tomboyish growing up like it. Was one of those. Hey, let's go outside. Play football. Let's do this. Let's do that. So then transitioning to like, the girls side, playing with girls, it was like. OK, like this is different. Ohh everybody kind of is like that pink all that stuff. I'm like, no. Let me just stay. To the back, like it was just I was. Out of my comfort zone, for sure. For. A while, like I said cause I got along with guys a lot better. Because it was just. Like I'm a sports. Girl, like, I'll sit down and watch football with my dad instead of go cook with my mom. That's like I'll do that any day. So that side of it was just it was hard to transition, but then like. I think like I said, being adaptable. For me it was like just getting to know who I was as an athlete and like being with the girls and they brought out a different side like they brought a little more of a competitive side, more of like I guess the caddy side, you could say with the competitiveness because then you they're competitive like girls are competitive, they want to win and they compete like through and through. So that side was definitely it was fun. These guys like it comes natural. Girls have to. Work guys think it comes natural to them, which they're just like, yeah, they're just sometimes some are just naturally talented. And the same thing with girls, but they just, they just feel like they have to just show out a little bit more because. Baseball, softball people think about baseball before you think about softball in any way, so.
No, 100% and I know that kind of. I talk about that a lot with my girls. Just women empowerment. I'm all about like female sports and getting these girls. And I mean, we are just always having to fight for a little bit more fight for the respect, fight for that just. I guess just the respect is kind of the way that I'm trying. To get at when it comes to. Playing an elite level sport and I just know now, like right now with you, coaching with me coaching, we're trying to change the game. We're. Trying to help them show them that they can live their dreams. They can follow them as long as they believe in themselves and they keep fighting. They don't give up and that's just something that I'm picking up so much from you right now is that you're a fighter like you want something, you're going to fight and you're going to get it. And that's so inspiring to me. Just a little of talking with you and getting to know you like it really does just inspire me so much that no matter what. No matter what your dreams are like, you can achieve them if you keep going for them and feeding into that you going at UCF. I mean, you were 15 years old, verbal to play at the D1 level across the country leaving your hometown, leaving your family like. Talk about just. Your your playing experience or your freshman year at UCF like that transition to begin with.
So 100% leaving my family with my might have been the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do, but it definitely has allowed me to be way more independent and allowed me to kind of venture off and see everything, see the world and and kind of learn how to just rely on myself. Like as much my family will always be here. And that's one thing that I've definitely learned but going to UCF. It was an amazing experience. I am beyond blessed with the gift that God had gave me to go all the way out there and do what I love to do and kind of show my talents. And one thing my parents always told me and just represent the last name across my back. And that's one thing that I always wanted to do. So my freshman year, which was amazing. I actually wasn't a starter kind of had to work for my position and I had to do that every single year. You know, we we always bring new people in. But it was amazing. I was under with coach Gee, uh coach Renee Gillespie, which is now at University of Iowa. And then we had two amazing assistant coaches my freshman year, which is coach chill. I don't think she's coaching. And then coach Tiffany Jordans, she is not coaching at all either. She's actually was on the Canadian. National team when I was there. So she was one of the coaches then, but those three coaches definitely made a huge impact for me my freshman year and they evolved me. They challenged me. I think the most is what I loved. It is being at UCF as much as far as it was from home. They provided a home. And as challenging as it was like, it allowed me to grow as not just an athlete, but as a woman, like, like you said, women empowerment. We see girls nowadays and and people are so afraid to leave home and, like, don't want to venture off. And like, I'm here to tell you, like, do it. It is the best experience that you can get because it will provide. It will provide some answers in some way if that makes sense. It will show you either that you can do it or like maybe home is where it's gonna be, but like you won't know until you figure it out until you actually go out there and challenge yourself. Being comfortable with those uncomfortable. Situations for.
Sure. No. And I love that. And our experiences in college were very different my listeners. I kind of know a little bit about my background. I did not have the. Joy that you had, the experience that you had as far as like coaching and all of that. I did my freshman year, but when I transferred, it was not the same. We're not gonna get into that. But I mean, I just, I get chills listening to just your conversation. Like, that is something that I wish for all my girls. And I guess do you have any advice before? Cuz I want I have a couple of questions about your playing. That you because I see that you played at literally every position but before then. Any advice for girls when they're looking for a school? Because you found your home? You found you had? Great. Two sets of coaches like. Would you tell girls that they want to pick a school for the school or pick a school like for the coach? Like when it comes down to softball, cause I've always said pick the school for the school in case you break your leg and you can't play again. But listening to you right now, I. Mean I think anyone. Would pay pay whatever it takes. Like I want my girls to have the experience you have like. What's your advice on that?
See, that's a hard one. So before committing the UCF, I actually went on to visits. I also went to go see Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY so going to Liu going to UC have completely two different cultures like that is cold hot, like complete opposite. I love both coaching staffers, which I get what you say fall in love with the school because absolutely, I loved everything. Apart apart and about UCF, but I did the coaches for my first two years to my last three years. Having coach bear, you know, Coach Kendra, coach Jen, like all of them having them my last like 3. I fell in love with the coaches as much as I fell in love with the school. I think the coaches made it that much more to continuously push myself to be better and to grow as an athlete to grow as a person. They challenged me like there was everything a. Part of it so. Anything I guess advice I can give is as much as you love to school, make sure. You love the. People that you're gonna surround yourself with because these. Are the people you are going to spend? Day in and day out with and they're gonna people. You're gonna lean on. I remember numerous conversations that I've gone into. You know, coach bears Coach Gees, coach tiffs office that I was just coach Kendrick. I was just going in there crying because I was just. I don't know if I can do this. It's hard, you know, mental health, like it was just there was so much stress on me and so much stress, you know, that athletes go a part of. But if it wasn't for some of my coaches that I had, you know, throughout my five years there. I don't know if I would. Have ever made it like they they definitely pushed me. They they saw how hard it was to be away, but then they allowed me to figure it out, figure it out myself. But like, they'll challenge me as a woman. So my advice was just fall in love with both of them. Fall in love with both aspects. Build that relationship with the coaches that they can challenge you. But they can also love you just as.
Oh my gosh, I literally have chills. I'm it's so awesome that you had this experience and listening to this experience like, that's the that's the like the softball dream. Like the American dream. The softball dream is. Like to be.
A staff that you have that connection with, so that's just awesome. I'm so happy for you that you had that experience and you get to translate that. And to your coaching world right now, but again, I'm gonna hold off on that back to UCF really quick. You played all over the field like, how would you describe what your primary was like? What was your goal as a player?
So then this goes the advice that I'd give any athlete now is honestly learn every single position, be adjustable, be a coachable, be adaptable, like do everything. So I got recruited as a shortstop in my 5 years, I think I might have had shortstop. Twice, maybe not even in a real game, might have been even. Been only in the fall game, which is. Kind of funny. Other than that, I. Primarily stuck to 1st. That was the first baseman. I was pretty much a corner and did first and third. I did catch a little whenever I was kind of thrown back there, which was fun, you know, to. Blast and then.
Do you catch ever before college?
I caught in high school. Yeah, I caught in high school for a little bit. Which is it wasn't like a primary thing. Like I. It was fun back there. I liked it. But then, like, catching in college. It was kind of like, OK, this is intense, like just. A different feeling. For sure, just being able to have handle the ball at time. It was a different feeling. Was I gonna stay back there? Absolutely not cause. I don't think my arm or my knees could take it. But you know. It was that fun to go back there every. Once in a while and then I also played right and left, so I was kind of just like, hey, that player that they just threw out there and pretty adjustable, pretty adaptable. And you know I was good for every situation at any position that. They put me at no, I.
Absolutely love that. And from a coaches perspective now. I've been told in the past, like when coaches are recruiting girls, and I'm curious because you kind of seem like the definition of this right now when coaches are recruiting, especially at top levels when they're looking players. I was told back in my day. It's like pitchers, catchers, and shortstops because they can turn a short stop into any position because you're typically the most athletic person on the field and you are the definition of that. Playing, I mean, is there a position that you. Didn't play at UCF.
I didn't pitch. I can't pitch I the ball would fail 50 feet over the back. Stop. If you decide to.
Give me the pitch ball, you.
Put me anywhere else. I definitely will make. I'll make it work. I'll challenge myself. I could not pitch ball it. It won't be a strike if I. Threw it would be really really slow. And it might get taken 3. 1000 feet over the fence, but that's not it.
Ohh my gosh. So you literally playing everywhere but pitch that's just amazing. Awesome. But then as far as like the recruiting world, like you as a coach right now would do you kind of agree with that statement a little bit or not really? As much know you.
I know absolutely. You know pictures and catchers. You know, primarily those, those are those are some pretty athletic people, shortstops 100% can. Be, you know, like you said, transition to any position they they're athletic, but at the end of the day, if you look for athletes, you can even find second baseman, center field or that that's an athlete and that can play different positions as long as they're versatile and they're able to like, you know, willing to learn, people can learn the game. Will it be as excelled? No. But like, you can learn it to an extent. And that's why you you got to teach. Kids young nowadays is like, learn everything. Don't be afraid, you're an athlete.
To be an athlete, teach him to be an athlete, not just a position player. And I say that too. I mean, again, I'm specifically with pitchers, so it's a little different sometimes, especially like. If I know this picture's going D1, it's like they don't really have too many. There's not many pictures and. The D1 world.
Pitch and play other positions they might hit, but they're not. Maybe first base, but you just it's rare, it's rare. And when it comes to advice that we're giving these athletes, I mean we have to, trying to be an athlete. And that requires more than just like the. More than just getting reps at your one spot, it is like foot. Focus on on your footwork and your hand eye coordination. I mean, what advice do you have for that for the 1415 sixteen year old girls who play a couple of different positions, but like, what do I need to zone in on outside of just field work to become a better athlete?
Outside of just field work because you know and and I tell my athletes this everyday, everybody's on the field, everybody will go and. Get extra reps. Everybody will go out there if you have open field, open practice like everybody's always gonna get on the field, but not a lot of people. We'll go make time to go in the weight room. We'll go make time to go do conditioning. We'll go make time to go get your speed work done. You will not find as many athletes those that want to do that have the drive to be better, have the drive to be different, be appealing, you know, be be somewhere in that sense. And I tell my athletes this now like I have girls. I know I have infielders. So I run the infield right now. I have infielders and are like, OK coach well, my footwork looks good. OK, it looks good. We'll go in the weight room, go get stronger, go get quicker, go get your footwork, go do ladders like all those little things that are tedious. Then you. So some girls are like this is annoying. It's repetitive, like those things are what's going to put you different or make you different than other athletes for sure.
Would you set that? Apart of like the difference between a great player and an elite level player, is that right there?
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's 100% because those elite level players, you can go to these Division One players these you know, pro players, all of them, they put in the work in the in, not just on the field. But they are putting the work off and like in the weight room like I see. I know me, I'm on TikTok. I see all these. Tik toks of like girls from Alabama that are just like working all these different muscles and understanding their bodies and like what muscle does what like? If you start understanding that at a younger level and like knowing how strong you can get. How you can use you know your lower have to be more explosive. Like all these. Little things you will set yourself apart from. You know, the people that are just doing the bare minimum of just getting reps, not saying getting reps and all that is like not necessary. That's far from it. Do all that but do more do that and like get stronger, get quicker.
Would you say that's what it takes to be a D1 athlete? Because I was a D1 athlete. Then I went D2 and there is a difference in the culture and I don't want to say there's like, the biggest difference in the work ethic. The whole different mindset of on expectations versus other divisions when it comes to the extra things. And it could have just been the program that. I was at. Because then we mentally a lot like all the like, we bonded over trauma like we trauma bonded together a little bit more unfortunately. But like, it was hard for us to want to go do some of. Those little extra but. Even at like when I was at Kennesaw State like, these girls were out of the picture. So I had like my. Pitching stuff like I didn't do. Up with the team, but I mean like, what would you say from a coach perspective? A college coach right now, that difference is. To be a D. One athlete, especially with the transfer portal now, it's tough for girls to come. In as a.
Yeah. So. I think the difference is right now I'm coaching at an AI level and then I've played at the D1 level. So like seeing the difference, one like the talent is people are always gonna be talented. But like, like you said, it's the mindset. It's the I'm not. I'm not where I want to be. I want to be better. What else can I do? How can I learn? How can I change the like? Do you want athletes are. Always looking for something to be better. They're they're looking to be students of the game, but also like students in general of. Like how they how things work. Like they ask the right questions. They are always looking like you say pick people's brains like it's the mental side of it and sometimes it's not easy for people to take the mental side out of it and just like, Oh well, I'm just, I'm good. But like, are you mentally good? Are you mentally? Strong to do a lot of these things and. The D1 side I know I. My freshman no, I would actually say my super senior year senior year super senior somewhere around there. I actually got challenged myself. I thought I was gonna be good and I thought I was gonna be, you know, come back my senior. Year I could. Just do what I gotta do. Don't have to really put an extra work. Put in a. Little extra work here and there. I just about almost got my spot taken. I definitely and I love her for this. Her name is Shannon. She's still at UCF. She she challenged me in every way possible on the field, off the field, getting an extra work, you know, she was also my lifting partner, which made it that much better. Like she challenged me to be a better version of myself in my. The last three years, 2-3 years, then people have ever. And that's the side that people aren't willing athletes. I know girls nowadays aren't willing to do if you get challenged, they're like, oh, why do like they kind of back out of it? Or it's like it's too much and it gets caddy like no live up to that challenge like be. Do that.
I love that so much because I do mental trainings and a lot of them are like so and so's better than me or so and so than at it or so. And like the same positions. They're like competing against one. Another instead of. Challenging like you use the word challenge of competing, and I love that so much because at the end of the day y'all are a team. Y'all are a unit and the goal is. For I mean, yes, the goal is to win, but it's like to have fun, to grow that family. There's so much more that the sport teaches us than just like to win and to lose like it's just there's so much more. That you get out of. The sport and you saying that right now, like I hope all the listeners and parents and. Especially parents right now who are like this girl's playing over her and this. No, no, no, no, no. That girl's challenging your girl to get better. Not given to you like you have. To work for it you have.
To work for it.
That's just I love.
That being challenged, being challenged is it will take so much out of you in the mental side of it, the physical side. Like if you are getting challenged day in and day out by another athlete and you still get beat like that's tip your. Hat off. Like, that's what. That's what you have to do. Like if you are not getting challenged and. You're not working hard enough. Someone's going to someone needs to come and take your spot. You want somebody to come and take your spot because it will make you a better athlete. Through and through? Absolutely.
I mean that just your attitude right now, I just know it's like you've entered into adult life now and you are. Coaching these girls and empowering these girls and I just know you got your crap going on right now. Just with that mindset of what the sport has taught you like it. It's so it gives me chills of excitement. Like I just love connecting.
Hard. It's hard on the coaching side of it too, because some of these girls like. It gets difficult. They get in their heads. They're just some mental that's like mentally there. Like, I can't do it. I can't. I'm like, you can't. You can't. And that's something like, we heard this weekend at the end. FCA is like it's the yet adding. Yet you can't do it yet. And like hearing that for me, I know like completely switched my mindset a little more of how am I, how how I am gonna talk to my girls and let them know. Like, you can't do something. It's yet like you will find a way to get it done. You just have to trust the process. And like, be OK with being challenged and being pushed and being. Food and being like. You know what this is how it is. It's a sport. Be able to fail, be able to fail. Absolutely.
I tell girls all the time like you want to fail if you're not failing. In my pitching lesson. If you're not failing in a practice, you're not trying hard enough like you're not. Putting it all in like I was like cuz I don't want you to give me 80% and be OK like give me 110% and let's mess up. Let's learn from it. Let's grow from it.
Get out of your comfort zone so.
Get it? Love that? Get out of your comfort zone.
I just got. You gotta be comfortable with the uncomfortable I I probably say that 10 times a day. Like we just have to. And I guess I'll shine light to the listeners. It's so off topic, but I'm even doing one-on-one hip hop classes right now, which. Is so out of my comfort.
OK. OK. Love that for you. Get it done.
Did not know I was about to say that, but I mean I'm I tell my girls all the time. Like we gotta get out of our comfort zone. I'm like, you know what? Like I am so uncomfortable dancing. But like, I want to be able to, like, go out and have fun. And I don't know why I chose hip hop. I think I just like the music. And so I was like, OK, let's figure it out. Like, it'll make me be a better athlete. Like, I can move a little bit better, maybe for less.
Hey that help. This this is what helps me is I'm I'm Hispanic, so that side of it just comes naturally to me. That's what you try actually thinking less than said that one might be the one for me.
No, I love it. But I mean like like I'm just getting out of my comfort zone. I tell them to do it all the time. Now post off all day. I'm like, how can I get out of mine A. Little bit more. So let's just try this. Let me go have some fun with it. Ohh but anyways, back on subject so.
You kept saying the mental game and I tell my girls all the time this game is 90% mental and 10% physical. You could have all the talent in the world, but if your brain is taking over and you're saying I can't or I'm not good enough or that like it literally, it consumes you. And so when you're coaching like I already know that your mental game, I mean, you're freaking mentally, mentally tough to the Max. Just by talking to you and listening to you. Like I already know how you were as a player. Mentally tough. Like you went through a lot and you got to where you're gonna be, especially just through your journey. But as a coach perspective. What are some things that you're y'all are doing at your college right now? To help these. Girls on the mental toughness side on the mental health. To really empower them to be where? They want to be.
So that's funny that you say that I'm. I'm mentally tough. This took so much time in college. I was. I was one of those that was a mental case. I for me, you know, I went through the whole mental health issue, the depression, the anxiety, all that stuff through my college career, it was more towards the end than the beginning. And it was hard like that, I think going through that during college being 1 so far away from home to like just, you know, the whole side of the depression of just feeling alone, like everything, all of that, like leaning to the sport and everything like it was so hard. And that's why I think I am the way I am now and I. And talk to a lot of my players that are going through stuff like that, like mental health is a thing. Like it's hard enough, it's 100%. It's not easy. To once again be in a game that literally requires you. To fail. 95% of the time and it literally will bring out the worst in you, but at the same time it will give you all the best memories and all the best like situations and in some way in some capacity. So one thing that like. For us that we do at our schools like we allow the open door policy, we allow our athletes to come in and talk to us about whatever. I know me, I'm very big on building relationships with my players and my athletes and making sure they understand who I am. What made me, who I am and why I do what I do. Finding my wife, they know what my Y is like. They will come and they will depend on me. For you know situation like this with their mental health or if they just, you know, it's not a great day, it's an off day for them mentally like you know, physically they might be there but like mentally they're not like if they are open enough to let us know like we'll get through it like we will get through we will be that shoulder that ear. That they need at any point of time and my players know that they can call me if they're ever going through any. Thing you know, when it's legal that I want to know. About to a certain extent. But they definitely know that they can call me and I think building that. Open relationship where it's still open and you know trust is there, but still understand boundaries is what allows my players for sure to thrive and to. Be OK with you know the the A being so far away from home or the thought of mental health or being not mentally tough things not going right in your softball world right now. You might not be hitting 300 or you might have struck out. Your last three at bats, but. Like how can I overcome this and like being able to talk that out with someone definitely allows you to like, you know, open your eyes and just be like, OK. OK, just an off day. Just one bad day, one off day like. Let me correct that there's no such thing as a. Bad day, it's. An off day because you know, you said mechanically, you can be completely sound. Everything could be good, but you might be in your head that day. It's just an off day, but guess what? Tomorrow's a new day and see what else you can get.
Oh, I love that. We just see like the power of being vulnerable, like, and that's something where I do a lot of mentorship calls with travel coaches and high school coaches, and that's one of my biggest pieces of advices to them. And it's like, yes, there is boundaries and I know like us being we're we both turned 26 within the next couple days like we can connect with our girls a little bit more. As far as like our age and that, we are still fresh out of school, but with like the older coaches, especially males like I tell them I'm like there's a power of being vulnerable. And if you want your culture to get. Better on your team. Like you have to open yourself up for them to be able to open themselves up and for them to feel comfortable with. And again, the girls have to be talking about all these certain things that guys don't want to hear, like, well, you. Know I'm like. Stay away from. Stuff like that keep us out of that a little bit, but as far as like, what's going on, whether. It's at home. Like being able to have that open door policy as a coach and as a player. If I knew that I had that, I mean that would have totally changed my experience so much and I did not have.
Like the shirt.
So I give that to girl or I give that advice to coaches. It's like we have to be vulnerable and like, look yourself in the mirror. Like when you're wondering, like, what's going on with your team culture. I really it starts with the coaches a little. Bit in the sense of how you're. Communicating with these girls to be able for them to be if you want them to be vulnerable like you gotta be vulnerable back and like what's?
Your intake on that. Ohh I 100% agree with you. Like that's that's exactly what it is. You have to be vulnerable with these players. You have to let them know. That you love them and that. You're there for them that you care for them like you care for them to surpass just being the athlete that. Are you love them? Just as a person, you want to see them, you know, be successful not on the field, but off the field in whatever career they might choose or path they might take. Like, I think having that support system away from their, you know, their typical support system of their family is what allows them to strive to, to want to be better. Through everything and they, it pushes them to be, you know, uncomfortable. But like, they'll be fine. Like they'll they'll make it through. And 100% vulnerability is is the start of it. If you can't allow your athletes to talk to you or to, you know, inform you what's going on or how they can get through. Something or ask for advice. It's like. How are they gonna trust you with what you're saying on the field? Like, how are they gonna believe that what you're doing? You know, the 8 hour days, 12 hour days, the, you know, 6:00 AM practices 8. Like 8:00 PM. Like, all those things. How are they going to trust that you're doing it for their best interest to get them better is if they don't know who you are. You know, just trusting that and allowing them to be vulnerable with you so that they can get better and they can build that relate.
No, I love that. And the last question I've had, just a ball talking with you. I need to have you on more episodes. Oh my goodness. Like I. I just, we'd.
Be best friends.
I love talking to you.
Oh yeah. Hey. I told you I'm here. I'm here for this. For whatever you need, you know, pick my brain. We can. Just talk and chat. On this podcast I. Would love life. This is.
Amazing to me. Oh, my gosh, no. I want to come be a flat while at one of your y'all ever need a pitching consultant. Or heck, you just want it? I don't know. I'll freaking fly to. Where y'all are and just. I just want to.
Hey, come for a weekend. I'm telling you, come to a practice and you'll see how. Exactly how you. You'll love it. I. The way I am right now. Just I'll going bubbly. My personality will never change as I'm on the field off the field. I am one of the most outgoing, loudest people you probably will ever meet.
No, I love it. You're the teammate that I've feed off of, like, that's the teammate I need right there. Like growing up, I'll say. Hey, I wow. Like, if they weren't talking to me like I was in anyway, that's a whole different subject. But I would go all over the place. But the last thing I want to ask you before we get off of this episode. Do you have any piece of advice for parents from a college coach perspective to the parents? As far as. Why their child is going through the recruiting process? Because I know your process was different as a player, but from a coach like what advice do you have for parents to not ruin some opportunities for girls like I have to talk them off a ledge on their attitude and things that tournaments. I mean like what? What advice do you have? For that.
I think one big piece. To be be realistic, be realistic with your players, like let them do what they're doing, understand that their talents will take them to where they're supposed to be. Trust the process, trust the plan. You know I'm very religious, so trust the plan that God is, you know, paving them in. And like. Just let them be themselves. I think when parents start covering or trying to like, make decisions for girls like it always steers them. Sometimes in the wrong direction. Like let the athletes be the athletes and let them go to where they believe that they are most fit. It might not always be exactly where you know, a parent might want, but like. Allow them to be themselves. Be realistic to where they know their talent level is at. If that makes sense, I know that's hard for a lot of parents to, you know, comprehend of, like, no, my child's the one athlete. But be realistic. Sometimes it's hard and but the truth is hard and. Being realistic with your athletes and with your players and as parents being realistic with yourself is just it's going to take them further. It's going to allow, you know, the players to be comfortable, where they're not making the wrong decision or they're not making mom and Dad disappointed or not proud like they should always be proud of where, where they're at. That's one thing that. I definitely have. Is a very, very supportive family. My parents let me make my decision myself. They. Were there to. Guide me in whatever way they could, but they they took a step back and they let me do what I had to do. If I made a mistake and I didn't want to go to, they were going to support me. If I absolutely loved it like I did, they were going to support me. So just support your kids. Do not try and make the decision for them. They're the ones playing. They're the ones living the college career. They're going. They're the ones doing everything. Just be the support system that they will need eventually because one day they will come home saying, you know, crying, doing something, not having a good day. They just want you to be the. They just want you to listen.
They literally just want you to listen.
110% that's why I know I'm so thankful for how my parents raised me through this process again. They're both. They're I have my dad ajar and my mom. And you're both working for DDR3. So like, they're still, like, involved in myself. They helped.
That's amazing. I'm the same way I and I me. As a coach now my dad coaches. High school. You know, my mom wasn't much into sports, but. Like I'm a coach now. I'm at the college level and I still call my dad. I'm like, hey, like this, this and this, this is. Going on like how? How do what? Do I do? How do I go about this? What? And my dad is right there. He's the first one to listen, but the first one to tell me if I'm wrong. What I can do different like, oh, 100%. Like if you have the support system of your parents is just allow you to talk and listen. And then just say. OK. What do you need from us? That can take an athlete so much further than the parents just saying trying to nitpick at every little thing that their athlete is doing, that child their child is doing.
No, I love that Jasmine. Thank you so much for coming on to this episode. I will be having you on more in the future. Again, I'd love to pick your brain. I expect to hear you speak at the NCAA Convention one here, and you've got to be a public speaker. You are amazing.
Thank you. Thank you. It's it was amazing. Thank you so much for having me.
Love the wisdom? Of course. And so we just let everybody know where. They can watch you. Remind everyone the name of your school and how they can kind of like watch your team play or how they can contact you. I guess recruiting wise, if they're interested in playing for you.
Yeah, definitely. So I'm currently the graduate assistant at Kansas Wesleyan. Disney, if you go on to kw.edu, you know athletics, you can definitely find all of our things on our website. If you guys wanted to e-mail me, my email's on there. Contact me in any way and you know that's about it. Follow us on Instagram at. Kate's softball.
You say that one more.
Time. OK, softball. kW softball.
KW softball. All right, make sure you all go follow them on Instagram so you can see what their journey is like this spring. Good luck at your first season this spring.
Thank you so much.
And again, thank you so much for coming on everybody. If y'all have any questions for coach Jasmine in the future, go ahead on my website on the home page, there's a little section that you can request podcast topics, question, ideas. I mean post them in there, e-mail me, e-mail her, but I'd love to again have her back on in future episodes. She is amazing. Love talking to you. Thank you so much. And I will see y'all next episode.
Thank you. Bye bye.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of Beyond the Diamond Connect with us on all social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube at do 3 fastpitch. But Instagram is my biggest platform where I post daily content for questions or topic ideas, visit our website dearthroughfastpitch.com and submit the form on our homepage. I would love to feature you on our next episode. Remember, you can find all of our episodes on Apple Podcast, Spotify and on our website dear3fastpitch.com. Stay tuned for more exciting discussions, stories, and insights in the world of fast pitch softball on the next episode of Beyond the Diamond. Until then, remember the only thing that matters is the next pitch. Deep breath. Next pitch I will see. You soon.