Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cyndil Matthew Steps Into Justin's World

I'll admit it, I didn't know much about Cyndil when she was selected with the 10th-overall draft pick by the NY/NJ Comets in 2013. But I did my research, and I also got in touch with Cyndil to do a "Get to Know" interview. As I wanted to learn more about Cyndil and her career, I knew other softball fans, especially other NPF'ers, would, as well. This is a player who I think will be around the NPF for a while, and, especially after conducting this interview, I think that's a very good thing! We're gonna get right into the interview today, and let y'all "get to know" Cyndil! Be sure to check her out on Twitter @CyndilM

Where were you born/raised?
I was born in Newark, NJ.  I grew up in Irvington, NJ until I was eight.  Then we moved to Union, NJ for a short time and then Westfield, NJ from thereafter to date.

Outside of softball, what other kinds of hobbies do you have?
Outside of softball I don’t have any hobbies at this time.  I enjoy bike riding and fishing however I am currently attending NYU so my studies occupy most of my time. I am going for my doctorates in Physical Therapy, it’s a 3.5 year program that began this June 2013.

Complete this sentence: If I weren't playing softball, I would be doing gymnastics.  I am a sports buff and gymnastics was my true passion growing up until I became more involved with softball.  Deciding between the two at a very young age was one of my most difficult decisions.

How did you get started playing softball? At what point did you realize you were a really gifted ball player and it was something you could do as a career?
I started playing baseball when I was 5 and I did not make the switch to softball until I was about 10.  I loved the intensity of the game and I loved to challenge myself in playing up a few age groups.  I loved the game so much growing up that I literally played whenever I could with any free time I had.  There were many times where I was on 3 different softball teams playing around the clock.  I was always receiving calls from coaches to come guest play when I was available.  So I guess it was that point in time when softball became non-stop and coaches were calling for my availability left and right that I realized my talent.  I knew softball was something I wanted to do in college and professionally from a very young age.

Why UMass? What appealed to you about the school and the softball program?
What really caught my attention from UMass was the rich tradition of the softball program.  Coach Sortino had really established a great program of tradition, dedication, determination and commitment.  The respect that loomed in the community for coach Sortino was prominent as well.  I wanted to play for her, and learn from her skills a part of the game and off the field life skills as well.  The school was located within a community that I adored and had the major I wanted.  Downtown Amherst also reminded me of Westfield which was nice to have a piece of “home” while away at school.

How did you find out about and become interested in the NPF league?
I found out about professional softball after my first time watching the Highlanders play and I also went to a NY/NJ Juggernauts game when I was about 11 years old.  I still have the shirt I bought and the foul ball I caught at the game that all the girls signed as well.  Being there and experiencing that really got me interested in the NPF league.

What was your reaction when you found out you had been drafted by the Comets?
I actually was watching online, thinking to check out which of my friends may get drafted and then they said my name.  I was stunned; I had to replay what just happened and what they just said.  I called everyone under the sun, my coaches and family.  When my roommate, also my teammate came in she gave me a huge hug.  She is about 10 inches taller than me.  She was so excited for me that when we embraced she just scooped me up off my feet like it was nothing! Finding out I had been drafter was definitely one of my greatest life moments.

So far, what is the best part of being a professional athlete?
The best part about being a professional athlete is seeing how happy fans get when you sign a ball for them or take a picture with them.  It’s a very humbling and rewarding feeling to be able to make so many people smile like that.

How do you envision your professional career continuing past your rookie season?
I envision myself playing professionally for as long as I can!  With graduate school being less of a factor in the summers to come, I’m really looking forward to being more involved within the league.  I also hope to spread the awareness of the NPF more locally in North Jersey starting with my hometown.

Describe your professional softball career, thus-far, in two words.
Unfathomably Rewarding

Is coaching softball at some level something you are interested in pursuing?
I am most definitely interested in coaching at some point in my life.  I believe in giving back to the sport that gave to me.  In the future I hope to be a physical therapist and coach.

If you had the opportunity to sit down and have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be and why?
Well, that depends on if you are talking about American history or my personal history.  As far as my personal history:
1. I would like to have dinner with my first pitching coach Mr. Carmichael.  He passed away when I was about 12 and the last thing he gave to me was advice about a huge opportunity I had before me.  Going with his advice truly got me to where I am today and I would give anything to thank him in person.  He was a huge part of my mental game from a very young age and helped shape me to be the player I am today.

Another person from my personal history would be:
2.Dominique Dawes, one of the best gymnasts in history.  She was my idol and role model growing up I strived to have her confidence and poise.

3.  I honestly cannot think of another person from history that I would really want to meet. So there are just those two!

If you could have any super power imaginable, what would you want to be able to do?
If I could have any superpower it would be the ability to move objects with my mind.  I didn’t say the ability to fly because if you can move things with your mind then you can use your mind to pick yourself up to fly…so its like 2 superpowers! 

1 comment:

  1. nicely dunn justin & cyndil...remember cyndil a little in college. - became big fan during NPF season with her speed, athleticism, energy. ms matthew, i'm also a huge dominique dawes fan.