REBECCA GAMBY WEAVER – Updated profile on October 13, 2015
I wrote a profile on Rebecca Gamby Weaver previously. As a review, Rebecca grew up on a farm – her father was a dairy farmer. He was so busy with working that he did not get to go watch many of her softball games. He did work with her on softball skills at home. She really appreciated the time that he spent with her and the advice he gave to her. He sold the cows on his dairy farm just before her final game at Marshall University; he was able to go there for that game – the senior recognition game. Rebecca’s mom is an artist who makes her own paint by using eggs from their farm. Rebecca had a brother who played basketball at Capital University and a sister who played volleyball at Bowling Green State University. Rebecca’s mother told me that Rebecca’s sister was the shortest girl in her freshman year of high school and grew to be the tallest by her senior year. Similarly, Rebecca eventually grew to be tall – I think she is about 5’11” tall. Rebecca was a great hitter and a great catcher. She also played outfield. I think she also had opportunity to play some at first base. Rebecca mostly played catcher and outfield for the Lasers. I remember seeing her do hands first-slides at second base when she would steal second base when she was 10 years old. She did not mind getting dirty. She enjoyed diving for balls. She used to show me that it could be similar to how she was taught to go for balls in volleyball.
When she was in high school, Rebecca came to a practice for our 8+U and 10+U teams around Christmas time of 2006 in Mount Gilead. That was very nice of her to give of her time to help others. Rebecca demonstrated softball skills, talked, and helped run the practice. I have a picture of her with our players at the practice on a poster at my place. I told Rebecca that she contributed to both teams doing well that year (8+U Red – 1st place at the NSA World Series; 10+U Gold – 1st place at PONY Nationals) and since then. Rebecca came to our first practice for our 2012 10+U White team. She was one of the influences on the team, and she helped them to be 1st in Ohio and 17th at the ASA/USA Nationals.
Rebecca graduated from Upper Sandusky high school in 2008. She got an apartment in Upper Sandusky with her mom so that she could attend that school for various reasons, rather than Marion Elgin where she was attending. She said it worked out great. She really enjoyed her senior year and was accepted by the students there. She also played volleyball and basketball there (Rebecca was very good at volleyball and had played travel volleyball). Rebecca was injured in basketball near the end of the season. She was not able to play much softball in high school her senior year because of the injury, even though playing softball at Upper Sandusky was the reason she switched schools. She said that switching schools from Marion Elgin to Upper Sandusky was one of the best decisions she made. It was tough on her mom though. Her mom had to stay with her each day during the week, but drive to their farm during the day to help there and cook for her husband who was still living on the farm, and then she would drive back to Upper Sandusky. Rebecca and her mom would go home to the farm on weekends.
Rebecca played softball for the Lasers for 5 years, she played softball at Marshall University and graduated in 2012, and in 2012 she played softball for the USA National Elite softball team. She went on to get her masters degree at Wright State University. She recently was married, and she now has a job teaching science in Cardington. She lives near Upper Sandusky; her husband is a farmer and he coaches girls high school basketball (the last I heard, she plans on helping him coach girls high school basketball). She said that she helps her husband at times by bringing him meals to where he is farming the land.
Rebecca wants to give back by helping others. She was helped and now she wants to help others and in that sense she wants to give back what she was given. She would like to coach softball. She knows that I would like her to help coach a Lasers team if she can. I think there is a chance that she eventually will. For now she is giving lessons in the little bit of spare time that she has. She says she enjoys giving lessons. You can tell that she is having fun when she gives lessons. She says that she had fun when she played and she has fun training players and seeing them succeed. She wants to instill a passion in them for them doing their best. She would be open to working with one of our Lasers teams at a practice. She could also talk to travel teams or school teams about her experiences with softball and the recruiting process. She is entertaining to listen to. She has a lot of knowledge and many interesting experiences. She is also a good listener who cares about the players. You can contact her at 567-674-8820. She has helped our Lasers White team some over the years and some individual players on that team and other Lasers teams and other teams.
I remember working a lot with Rebecca when she was younger. When she first started it seemed that she could not hit very well. I remember doing soft toss with her and she missed every one of about 100 soft tosses in a row. I was amazed that she did not get frustrated or upset. She just kept swinging at the ball. Eventually, she started hitting them.
Rebecca recalled the memory of her last hit in softball – it was against Jackie Traina. She had the opportunity to bat against and catch great pitchers like Keilani Ricketts. She said it was difficult catching them at first because she was not used to catching pitchers whose pitches moved that much.
Rebecca is able to laugh at herself and not take herself too seriously. She told the story of once when she was batting with two strikes. The pitch hit her, but she swung at the pitch and struck out. She has also recalled how bad she was when she first started playing softball. When she tried out for the Lasers when she was 9 years old she was uncoordinated and tripping when going after ground balls. She says that her parents even laughed at how bad she looked. After the tryout her mom asked her what she thought. Rebecca said that it was so much fun that she wanted to keep on playing. She kept having fun for years and she kept on working hard. It paid off in her success in travel softball, high school softball, college softball, and on the USA National Elite softball team.
One piece of advice she has for catchers and others is to show respect to the umpires. She says that you should not show them up. Catchers should not turn around and look at them. You should realize that they will make mistakes. If umpires get hit by a pitch, a catcher should give them time to deal with the pain by going out to talk to the pitcher for a while. Perhaps a catcher can even be a friend to the umpire and talk to them, and even butter them up.
Rebecca says that it is important to stay even emotionally – to not get too up or too down, too high or too low. She says that playing softball was a stress reliever for her. When she had potentially stressful things happening to her, she would block them out when she went to practice or games. When she tried out for the USA National team, her dad told her that if she was not good enough, then she was not good enough. She did not worry about how well she would do. She just went out there and did her best and had fun doing it. She did not let things bother her. She stayed positive. She said that sometimes she would need a little time after making a mistake to be by herself and deal with it, then she would be fine and ready to go again. She was tough mentally and would like to see players become tough mentally.
It was fun working with Rebecca years ago, and even now it is fun to talk to her and watch her work with players and talk to them. Years ago, Rebecca would not complain and say she could not do something. She kept on trying until she did it and did it well. Her determination and competitiveness contributed to her success on the softball field, and those qualities are contributing to her success in everything she is doing – whether working at studying (which she enjoys), working at a job or at home, and working with players by teaching them softball skills. For her, working is more than just a job – it’s having fun!