Stephanie Lowe was recently selected in the U17 Girls State team and lives in Charters Towers where there is no softball competition or fields for her to practice. Stephanie and her family frequently travels the hour and a half to Townsville to practice and play as there is no softball competition in her area. Read more about how she stays dedicated to softball.
1. Can you explain your training and playing schedule?
I usually just train by myself with a trampoline in the backyard, and I have a Tee that I practice with as well. Plus I work to a steady exercise regime.
For the past month I have been training with Brad Adams every Tuesday we just do a little bit of training.
I don’t really have anyone else to help. My family has all tried to help me with my training, but none of them are softballers so it’s a different dynamic than having a club training with a coach.
2. And what about playing?
Until this year I was involved in a more competitive competition in Townsville playing 2 games every Sunday. The Townsville competition changed this year, so I was only competing in one game a week. I also attend academy training and North Qld training for school girls, and regional and club teams that compete in State Championships. These are not weekly training sessions though
3. Are you going to have a chance to get some different game practice before you go away?
Not really, but we will continue travelling the hour and a half and back to the Townsville competition on Sundays. Mum and Dad have been doing this trip pretty much every weekend for the last 3 years or more.
Cairns is 4 or 5 hours away from here; so it’s just not possible to drive 10 hours and stay overnight for one game
4. How did you get into softball if you are far away from competition and training?
At our schools we do interschool sport and we play against other schools, and softball was one of the sports that was offered back in primary school. One of my teachers, James Moore, who was running it, used to live in Brisbane and he played softball and he encouraged me and taught me how to play.
And from there I made the North Queensland team with his encouragement when I was in grade 6 which was my first year of softball. And then from there I have kept going and playing. There’s a Queensland school coach in Townsville, and she has helped me out along the way.
I have been going to State Championships since I started playing when I was 11. I normally play for Townsville or North Queensland. It depends if it is club or school girls.
I have had many teachers and coaches as well the people I play against on Sundays, mentor and help me get better along the way. I have been working with my academy and QLD school coach Nicole Brodie, and Liz Freeser for a number of years and I have been lucky to learn so much from them.
5. What’s your plan for the lead up to the National Championship in January? Do you know your teammates?
We’ve had one training weekend in Brisbane and I knew a couple of the girls from past Queensland teams but a lot of them I’ve never met before so it was good to meet everyone. I’m going back down a couple of days before we leave to Sydney and we are having another training camp then.
6. Have you made state teams previously?
I made my first Queensland team when I was in grade 7, and then again last year I made the U15 Queensland regional academy team and now this U17 team. I’m not the youngest in the team, I’m 15; there’s another girl who is 14. The rest are 16 or 17 and they’ve played in the team before so I’ll be a newbie.