"Failure is something we learn from, it builds mental toughness and resilience." Alyssa Derrick
What's Your "Y"
Interview with Alyssa Derrick, USSSA Women, Mixed Slow Pitch Softball
Give us a brief background of how your fitness/sport journey has evolved?
My childhood- up until high school- revolved around playing soccer, basketball, and softball all year round. After graduating high school as a 3 sport varsity athlete, I continued my academic and athletic career as a part of the softball team at the University of Maine.
After my 4 years in Orono, I knew I wanted to stay involved in sports because that is truly all I knew. I currently work as a personal trainer and skills coach at HOPS Athletic Performance creating individualized strength and conditioning programs as well as softball/baseball skills to help one reach his/her greatest athletic potential.
On top of coaching, I also continue to play USSSA women and mixed slow pitch softball.
What (or who) has been your main source of motivation over the years?
Being a role model for the younger generation, and showing them they can accomplish what they put their mind to has been a huge motivational drive.
The other is my grandparents. They have been my superfans since day one, and never missed a game growing up. They also continue to watch my live streams to this day and ask for updates.
Where do you find more motivation: doubters or supporters?
I have and continue to find motivation in both.
The support I receive from my family, friends, and community is always amazing and drives me to keep evolving every day as an athlete.
Doubters will always be there, we pay no attention to them. Without the doubters there is no competition, there is no fun in winning when everyone is on the same side.
What is the biggest mental challenge you've had to face in your sport and how have you conquered that?
I have very high expectations of myself, almost think I am a perfectionist. Errors, not getting that clutch hit, and so on put me into mental blocks. It took a long time but now I use failure as fuel, in life, and the game.
Failure is something we learn from, it builds mental toughness and resilience.
What do you do to make sure you're physically and mentally prepared for competition?
Routine is important.
As we all know softball and baseball players are pretty superstitious. Might seem a little outrageous but in college, I put my uniform on the same way from each sock, to the layers of shirts I would wear. Doing a couple of the small things every game day helps ease the mind.
Describe your recovery strategies.
Sleep and nutrition have always been my keys to recovery.
Making sure I get enough sleep every night allows me to wake up recharged, mentally refreshed, and full of energy to take on my busy day. My friends will say I am the nap queen, and if I can sneak one in the middle of the day… I will.
As an athlete, it is about what we put into our body, as well as how much we put into our body. Not only does our nutrition rehydrate and reenergize our body for the next activity. But it allows us to promote muscle repair, muscle gain, and prevent injuries.
What's Your "Y"? What keeps you going and training as hard as you do?
I continue to work and train as hard as I do for the people who told me growing up I couldn’t. It is not an easy path to be an athlete, putting countless hours into getting better at a sport, but it was worth it.
Now sports, and exercise are a part of my everyday job, life, and routine.
Where do you see yourself as an athlete in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself still training and coaching softball, and baseball athletes. Possibly expanding to other sports, and personal training clientele as well. I also will continue playing USSSA softball to be competing at a Majors level.
Favorite motivational quote.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong” - Mandy Hale
YOLKED is something I had added to my everyday routine because it makes me feel refreshed and ready to go even after the hardest days. Plus it tastes great!