Meet our newest Badassador, Alex Powers! Alex is currently an infielder for the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch league. She made a name for herself at Florida State University where she was an All-American and the 2016 ACC Player of the Year. During her career as a Seminole, Powers was an integral part of FSU's success, reaching the NCAA Super Regionals in four straight years (2014-2017) to include a Women's College World Series appearance in 2016.
Before all of the success Powers achieved at FSU, she started her career by tearing ACLs in both knees in back-to-back preseasons. She refused to be defeated by the injuries, killed the quit inside of her, and enjoyed a successful career at FSU.
Alex took some time out of her busy schedule to let us get to know her better. In the interview below, she discusses FSU, how she battled back from two ACL tears, and her diet.
KC: How long have you been playing softball? When did you realize you could have a future in the sport that extended beyond high school?
AP: I've been playing for 19 years now. I think when I was younger, like probably 10 or 11, is when I really started to get interested in it and thought that this was something I could continue in play through college.
KC: You attended FSU, which has been one of the most consistent programs in D1 softball. What was your recruiting process like and what made you choose the Seminoles?
AP: At first, I was really against going to Florida State only because I wanted to go really far away from home and Florida State was only five hours away in the car. During my recruiting process with FSU, I knew that they were a top 25 team and I knew that I had the opportunity to go there, actually make an impact, and have the opportunity to earn playing time faster.
I went to some camps in Tallahassee and I got to work directly with the coaches and staff. I just really fell in love with everything from the players to the coaches and the campus. Coach (Alana) Alameda, the head coach, pulled me into her office and told me that they really liked me and thought I was a good fit for their program. She offered me a scholarship and some time to think about it. I left her office and I literally drove up the road and called her. I told her I could really see myself at the program for years to come and wanted to be a Seminole. That's when I committed.
KC: You started your career off with a knee injury and ended up having to take a medical redshirt your freshman year. What was that recovery like? How difficult was it to battle back from that injury?
AP: As a freshman, I went into the fall season, which was like a preseason, as a starter and was working hard. I ended up tearing my ACL in November that first year. I immediately decided to take a redshirt. I was out for the season recovering and rehabbing. Once I got healthy, I came back out there and tore my other ACL during September practices before the season started. I spoke with an orthopedic surgeon and I ended up getting surgery immediately. With that procedure, I was able to hit my rehab a little more intensely and return to the field sooner. I did not want to take another medical redshirt and thought that we had a really good opportunity to go far. I wanted to be a part of it. I had surgery in October and was cleared to play in February.
KC: In your junior year at FSU, you won the ACC Player of the Year. Receiving such a high honor with still a year left of eligibility, what was your mindset going into your senior season?
AP: You see it a lot in sports when someone has a big year and they're not able to repeat the success. During the senior season, I just focused on being the best I could be and not force things. At one point I was hitting around .470, which was insane, but I eventually got in a slump and had to battle out of it. Keeping a consistent approach helped me battle back.
KC: How was it watching FSU win the Women’s College World Series this year with many of your former teammates and coaches still there?
AP: I can't lie...I was a little jealous, but it was awesome to watch! I'm very proud of them. Some of the girls who were making big plays in the big moments had failed in those big moments when I was there. That's just a part of the growth process. It was cool to see the girls live out their dreams; I also felt like I had a small part in it with me being there just last year.
KC: You were drafted to the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch league. How has that experience been so far? What’s it like being surrounded by some of the best softball talents in the world as teammates and your competition?
AP: It's the most humbling experience because every day I'm surrounded by the bigwigs of college softball. I get to play with All-Americans and Olympians. It's awesome to get to be around them and learn about their mindset and routines. If nothing else, I just want to know what has made them successful and make it my own. I don't want to be them, but I want to learn from them.
KC: Do you have a specific nutrition or workout routine you follow?
AP: I'm very into my health and working out. I always make sure to eat a bomb breakfast - omelets, veggies, fruit, and things like that. I try to eat minimally before games. I love to work out every day, even when we play. It's a good warm-up for my body and helps my body get accustomed to the game. I just feel better prepared, looser, and more comfortable in the game when I've trained beforehand.
KC: What are your goals for the rest of your softball career and do you have an idea of what you’d like to do after softball?
AP: I just really want to help grow the game. I think that the college level has a lot better recognition at this point having partnered with ESPN for the Women's College World Series. It has provided a lot of opportunities for young women. The professional league is still very small and up-and-coming. We're only 15 years old and are trying to get people to buy into the game at the highest level.
I don't have individual goals based on things like hits, home runs, or other stats. My primary goal is to make softball better and get it on the map.
KC: What does Kill the Quit mean to you?
AP: Kill the Quit means to push yourself past those limits where sometimes you think you might not be able to finish something - whether that's a workout or some kind of goal you set. You just have to put your mind to something knowing you can achieve it. I am reading a book that talks about becoming in touch with your body and your surroundings much more through fitness. Once you are at that point, you're able to conquer so much more. You're able to get past whatever toughness or struggle that you thought might be there and that's killing the quit.
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