When I was 5, I moved from Sweden to NY and just returned during the summers. Therefore, my softball experience has been different than many of my teammates. Softball is not known throughout Sweden. My teammates tend to workout in the gymnasium during most of the year until the snow melts and its warm enough to go outside and play. The national team coach got a a couple of pitchers and catchers together and had them fly to Florida in order to train with Michelle Smith as well as some other big time players.
In Leksand, Sweden there is a softball and baseball high school where the students attend regular class however, they have special conditioning, strength and skill practices that are softball related. I’m not sure how many of my teammates are still attending because they may have graduated but some have attended the school. There are also a couple of other players that play at colleges in the US so they are currently practicing every day with their teams.
Since I’m no longer living in Sweden, I can only describe my personal experience getting ready for the europeans as well my season in Holland. After playing four years at Rider University, I was fortunate enough to get signed by a team in Holland due to the connections I made while playing on the Swedish National Team. I’m considered a professional softball player since I receive a monthly salary. I’m currently in the off season so I practice everyday. On weekdays I do two-a-days which consist of some type of strength and conditioning workout and a softball workout usually hitting due to the cold weather. During the weekends I just have softball trainings. I train a 12u and 14u team at an indoor softball and baseball facility which I’m lucky enough to use to workout as well.
I’m fortunate that my parents have been so active in my softball career. My dad, I would refer to as my trainer while my mom does her part too. I’ve given up and missed some opportunities due to playing softball. I didn’t attend my high school prom, I didn’t walk at my college graduation, missed some vacations and birthday parties but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There is no better feeling than to be living my dream being a professional softball player. Unfortunately there will come a time that softball will come to an end and I’m not sure what I will do then. I will figure that out once I cross that bridge.
I’m not sure how we will do in the europeans. We are still trying to figure out who is able to play and who isn’t. If some of the college girls aren’t able to play it will be tough but, if we have those college girls then I would say we will maybe place 8th or 10th. Don't hold me to that!