If you want to learn to be the best, you have to surround yourself with positive role models, mentors, inspiration, people and coaches that have been where you want to go. For Kylie, she wants to work hard to improve her softball game, become a power hitter, and continue to climb the ladder in travel softball.
During Covid19 and quarantine her Dad scheduled her with a batting coach, Taylor Neumann. Every Tuesday, she has a lesson with Taylor. Kylie says, "My swing is getting better and my form is too. It has built my confidence. When I do good at batting practice I feel good about myself and my hitting. It makes me happy to go to practice and do the same thing. I love going to lessons with Taylor. She has helped me in so many ways with my hitting."
Taylor has dedicated herself to her facility, Diamond Sports Academy in Simi Valley California. She says she is really a life coach, disguised as a softball coach.
She say, "The reason I became a coach was to be a mentor and a shoulder to lean on for my students. I know the sport can be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging and it’s always good to have someone who went through it by your side and I wanted to be that.
A couple things that lead me to reaching my softball goals were dedication and my parents. Dedication can mean a lot of different things to many, but for me it meant giving up my weekends, understanding that dedicating time, extra swings, extra field work and practice would make me better. And of course I could not have done it without my parents, as I am older now, I still don’t understand how they did it all.
The hardest part about coaching, whether it’s with me or coaches I see, is being able to tailor your coaching style to the athletes age, learning style and/or goals. The connection and relationship with athletes is the most important aspect to unlock their full potential. The most rewarding part is not the home runs or game winning hits (those are great too) but the most rewarding part is seeing my girls smile when it clicks for them and seeing them start to believe in themselves, that’s when the fun happens.
Qualities that stand out in my students or any athlete is their energy. Are they a good teammate? Are they having fun? Do they enjoy what they are doing ? Also, how do they react or respond to failure. Do they shake it off or do they hang their heads and beat themselves up for it? And save the best for last, are they coachable? Are they eager to learn more and ask questions. I love a kid who may not understand exactly what I am saying so instead of just saying yes and doing the same thing wrong over and over again, they ask me questions to get a better idea!
Kylie is a gem. Not only because she is my student and not only because she is bubbly and fun to be around - everyone will say the same, but because she works hard. She is eager to better herself and is one of my most coachable kids. I enjoy coaching her and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her"
Follow Taylor: @diamondsportsacademy_
Follow Kylie: @kylie.softball44
Follow Kylie's team: @firecrackers.miller