Friday, March 28, 2014

Alisa Goler Steps Into Justin's World

When I first kicked off this softball site, one of the first player Q&A's I featured was with ex-UGA Bulldog and current Chicago Bandits slugger Alisa Goler. Recently, I decided three years was a long time and it was time for a check-in! Alisa graciously agreed to answer some new questions for me.

Pulled a throwback out of the vault - Alisa
in her days as a UGA Bulldog.
For those of you who are softball fans but may have been living under a rock the past several years, Alisa is the starting first baseman for the NPF's Bandits. This season will be her fourth as a professional softball player. She consistently leads her team in the traditional "slugger" categories of home runs and RBI, and was the league's home run champ in her rookie season, smacking eleven long balls. She was also named Rookie of the Year in 2011. 

Alisa and I talked about a lot of different things, including how last season's championship loss makes her hungrier than ever for this year's title; playing against her former teammates; future plans; and being a role model for younger  generations of softball players.

Be sure you're connected to Alisa on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @agoler35. Also check out her blog on here.

Justin’s World: Is it weird for you to now play against some of the same women that were your teammates at UGA?
Alisa  Goler: Well, it was definitely strange my rookie season. One week you're with your college teammates/closest friends and the next I was wearing a different uniform and seeing them from an opposing dugout. There's no secret that we all know a lot about each other: tendencies in the box, favorite pitches to hit, etc. but I think we all do a great job of respecting each other as opponents and just playing the game. Now that this is my 4th season, I especially love that I get to play against former teammates because it's a reunion each time we see each other!

Justin’s World: You obviously go into each season desiring to come out with a championship, but does a near-miss like last season make you even hungrier to reach that goal this year?
Alisa Goler: One of the main reasons I still play in the NPF is because of competition. When you talk to players who stopped playing after college or even retired from the NPF, they talk about how much they just miss having something to compete in. In high school, travel ball, college, and the NPF we play with hopes of winning our last game of the season. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't but coming in 2nd place always lights a fire under you to come back stronger the next year. I know my teammates and I are definitely looking forward to getting back on the field in May.

Justin’s World: Who would you say is the person that has inspired you in your career as a ball player?
Alisa Goler: Tough question. I've been blessed to have a great support system, but my #1 person has always been my dad. We've been practicing together for just about 22 years. My parents sacrificed so much time and money growing up so that I could play competitive softball in hopes of receiving a d1 scholarship, and I'll always be thankful for that. He's my biggest fan, and you'll see him at every Bandits home game. :)

Justin’s World: What are your “life” plans after your playing career is done?
Alisa Goler: Well, I eventually plan on going into college coaching. I'm confident that'll work itself out though. Other than that, I will hopefully meet and marry the man of my dreams and have some kids!

Justin’s World: If you had the chance to go back in time and relive or change one moment in your life and/or career, what point in time would you go back to?
Alisa Goler: If I could relive my Sophomore and Junior years at UGA I would do so over and over again. We finished 3rd and the next year 4th at the WCWS and it was the most amazing experience. I still get chills thinking about playing in OKC with my Georgia family.

Justin’s World: It’s a broad question, but what do you see as the “state” of the NPF at this point in time? Where do you see the league in five years’ time?
Alisa Goler: This is always an interesting topic of conversation. [laughs] I think all of the players in the NPF, as well as those who retired, have their own opinion about the league. What we can all agree on is that we are blessed to have an opportunity to keep playing after college. If the Olympics aren't reinstated, this may be the only opportunity softball players have to continue their careers. I am grateful that I get to keep playing, and also for how much time and money the owners of our teams invest each season to keep my dream alive. It's no secret that we hope to expand the league, and hopefully in 5 years we will have added at least 2 new franchises across the country. In the meantime, our job as NPF players is to serve as ambassadors to the sport. We must continue to grow the game in a positive manner and spread the word about our league. After all, we are playing so that future generations of softball players will have even greater opportunities to play.

Justin’s World: This is my absolute FAVORITE question to ask! Let’s say you were stranded on a deserted island (Robinson Crusoe-style), but were allowed to take three things with you. Boats and phones are off-limits. What would you carry along?

Alisa Goler: My dog, Colbie; my guitar; and an attractive male who can hunt/fish/forage and cook! :)

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