All of Taylor Layfield’s hard work has paid off this season. This week, she has been rewarded with the title of Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association’s “Pitcher of The Week.”
Layfield, despite this being her first year playing softball at ABAC, has shown impressive skills on the field. Jennifer Martinez, the ABAC Softball Coach, noticed Layfield’s outstanding performance during both games and practices. Martinez soon nominated Layfield for the position of “Pitcher of The Week.”
The position is chosen by the conference of coaches from various other colleges in Georgia. Each coach nominates a member from their team based on their stats, and they are not allowed to vote for anyone they nominated themselves. After reviewing Layfield’s stats, the coaches all voted for her.
“She has such a winner mentality,” Martinez said during an interview, “She motivates the other players on the team to be as competitive as her.”
According to Martinez, Layfield sets a great example for other players with her intense focused attitude she demonstrates during practices and games.
Coach Martinez explained, in detail, how she likes to prepare her team for games. The practices are usually very extensive. Martinez spends hours making sure the girls are ready for anything that the opponents could do during their games.
“The day before we have a big game, we have this thing we call ‘Feel Good Friday.’ It’s pretty laid back, and we do this so the team can rest and be ready,” said Martinez. “I like to make sure the normal practices are difficult because that prepares them more, and it makes the game itself seem much easier in comparison to the practices.”
According to Coach Martinez, there are three main components to a successful team. First, there needs to be good pitching, good defense and timely hitting. She mentioned that the success of a team is largely impacted by the overall quality of the players. They must be skilled at the sport and cooperative, coachable players.
“I’d much rather have a mediocre player with an awesome attitude than an all-star player who isn’t coachable,” Martinez said.