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Softball

Claire Guitmann

Position: P, 1B, UTL

Grad Year: 2022

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Quick Facts

Club Team

East Coast Tsunami
16U Futures

High School

Tenafly High School
Tenafly, NJ

Video

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CurveBall.mp4

38 Views • Apr 09, 2019

CurveBall.mp4

by Claire Guitmann

    
DESCRIPTION

End of season speech: It started in first grade, standing behind the primary pitching net and mimicking my sister and her motions. It all started with her, she inspired me to be just like her from that very first pitching lesson. That day forward I practiced that motion everyday until I perfected it to the best of my abilities. My father saw it in my eyes that ever since that day, I wanted to be the best pitcher in the whole universe. Still until this day my dreams remain the same as they did when I was a little girl. Eventually my father blessed me with the gift of my very own pitching lessons weekly. For the last 8 years I have been going to my lessons. Every hour I spent at the sports facility made me blossom as a pitcher and gain velocity. Softball is one of the only things that never lets me down. It was always about how good you wanted to be, not how good you were. I always controlled softball based on how hard I wanted to play, unlike in life you don’t always get to decide when you receive a curveball but in softball I decided when you were getting one. Whenever I step onto the field, every single negative thing that pushed on me that day disappears for those 7 innings. It is really bigger than a leather ball with red strips of string. It is a bright colorful mass that holds a greater purpose than shown from the surface. This past year I successfully graduated middle school and was on path to going to the high school. The main thing that interested me about the high school was the softball season coming up. I knew that the mound was mine and I controlled the tone of the field. One thing I figured out about softball growing up is that the capability to play physically is only a small component of the sport. The bigger picture is your mental game. Before I knew it, it was time to shine and step out on the field for the first time of my high school career. Games flew so fast, it made me think that while I was on the field time stopped moving at a constant pace. Line drives constantly went straight to my shins, giving me 3 hot seconds to rebound and throw it to first. Half the time I walked off the field with raspberries on my thighs. Mid season my team and I played a challenging team named River Dell. This was one of the best performance based games I have played in my entire life. I struck out 15 batters in the course of the game, we beat the team 1-0. During the course of that game I felt a tug in my forearm that I have never felt before. I began to think it was nothing and threw it to the side because I always pull muscles as an athlete. I popped 2 advil and continued playing like I usually do. As games went by my arm was not improving, or going away. It kept lingering in the same area and haunting me in my sleep. I had nightmares about me obtaining tommy john. I considered the hurt tendons in my arm to be a big bad darkness that was taking over my life, or at least a large part of it. The hardest part about this injury was that the only thing that makes it go away is rest. I was petrified that when I rebounded from this injury that I would not be the same player as I was before. That I would never know what it was like to throw a 63 MPH fastball ever again. I was scared that the satisfaction I received when I struck out a batter would never surge over me for the rest of my life. I was frightened at the thought that all these things would never happen again. I went to plenty of doctors and they were all like mimicking bobble heads. They all said the same thing, “rest, physical therapy, cortizone, ice, heat” What none of the doctors could do is tell me if I could play soon in my club season. Tears and pain was my life for the 2 months of this injury, especially with my coach and team needing me to play through it. Every time my coach put me out on the mound, I treated every pitch like it was my last because I wasn't quite sure if it would be. There was always a part of me that felt deep inside I could play through the pain, unfortunately my mind and body were telling me different things. I know that life sometime throws curveballs at unexpected times, I never could even imagine it happening to me. With weeks of physical therapy I saw my grip strength grow from 20 pounds of pressure to 80 pounds of pressure. This injury took something out of me. Not only did it take my tendons strength away but it also took my mental toughness along with it. I sometimes went to bed with trepidation thinking I was never going to be able to pitch again. Until one day I picked up my bat for the first time in weeks swung, and I did not feel my tendons screaming for help. At the end of this road I knew taking care of myself was vital for the rest of my career. I learned so much from sitting on the sideline. I felt what it was like to be on the bench with an urge to play. I understood what the coach meant finally when he described the difference between “mental error” vs “physical error” on the field. I could finally understand every position on the field. It dreaded me to not be playing at the time but afterward I appreciated the different perspective of the game. Not the ordinary positions like first base or centerfield, but the positions of the cheering teammates that don’t have a spot in the game. I could see the bigger picture at this time of my life on the bench.

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Apr 09, 2019

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Jenny Finch Camp 2016

34 Views • Feb 01, 2019

Jenny Finch Camp 2016

by Claire Guitmann

    
DESCRIPTION

My jersey number from soccer was always 27, so when I started playing softball I kept it, little did I know whose number that was in the world of softball. When I was eleven years old I met the most inspirational figure in softball, the amazing Jenny Finch, at a camp in Pennsylvania, and from that point forward I knew what I wanted to become. I went on from here to club softball with East Coast Tsunami. and am looking forward to starting my high school career this year, 2019. I was asked to play in the USSSA All-American Games in 2018, and there is some more video of me at my Softball Factory page from summer 2018 at: http://members.softballfactory.com/player/claire/guitmann/96ae7fc014734312b760850399cd5763 Google my name and you will find that and my ongoing High School games.

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Feb 01, 2019

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