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Friday, October 3, 2014

Kayla Cox Steps Into Justin's World

Earlier this week, we featured former Tampa pitcher Kayla Cox as part of our long-running “Where Are They Now” series. Today, we’re bringing a more in-depth feature, as we talk to Kayla about her philosophy of success, some of her favorite career memories, and turning down the chance to play professional softball.

It’s a little bit of a different format than you’re used to seeing our interviews take, but let’s call it an experiment in anti-OCD’ism.

Kayla on her future plans...     ---> I will be graduating this December, I only have four classes left. Since I’m the first person in my family to attend college, much less graduate, it makes this a pretty big deal. I recently signed on with one of the biggest modeling agencies in the country, Wilhelmina Miami fitness division. They encouraged me to complete school, then go full force with them in December after graduation. So, in a way I guess I will still be connected to the sports world, maybe not softball, but sports in general. Ideally, I hope to get the chance to model for softball companies, since it’s the sport I love so very much. Once I model for a few years I would like to get involved in motivational speaking. Preferably speak to young softball players, share with them my career experiences and lessons. I feel I could broaden their perspectives since I have experienced both D1 and D2 levels of softball.
Kayla on her philosophy of success... 
---> Not only have I played at both levels but I have discovered many things throughout my softball career, valuable lessons worth sharing, such as the importance of having mental toughness. Discovering the power of visualization, determination and breaking through all limitations is the flawless recipe to achieving success. I learned this from reading a book on mental toughness by Bryan Caine. I credit my former softball coach, Lisa Navas, for introducing me to this book that changed my life forever and equipped me with valuable philosophies I used to get where I am today.

Kayla on her career at Tampa & admiration of coach Leslie Kanter... 
---> There is nothing I would have rather done then play softball at The University of Tampa the past few years. The game alone wasn’t just the most rewarding part of these last few years of softball but the unforgettable moments I spent with my teammates and coaches that meant more to me than any game or award. Especially, the moments I shared with my head coach Leslie Kanter; she inspired me and motivated me so much. Just her humble presence alone is what I looked forward to each softball day. I hope one day I can be the motivator and mentor coach K is to me and many others.

Kayla on some of her favorite career memories... 
---> My senior year of high school winning States, the first state title ever won at Eastbay High School in any sport. It wasn’t just the winning part that sticks to my heart, but the way the whole school came together to support the softball team, all the students and staff members. It was like our school become one huge family over a spring sport… a really funny moment I will never forget in my career was at my very first college practice at North Carolina State. I had almost passed out a few times before practice because I was so nervous but had no clue what I was in for. Coach Navas had the team take infield practice, including pitchers. All I could think about was don’t miss, don’t pass out and definitely do not over throw first base. It was my turn, coach hit me a fast ground ball and I had a huge brain fart and pitched the ball under hand to first base. Everyone thought it was hilarious. Coach said she’s never had a pitcher do that, she yelled “never do that again” but we laughed about it later and I didn’t live it down all year.

Kayla on being offered the chance to play pro ball… and turning it down... 
---> I was contacted shortly after my senior year of college to play professional softball for the Akron Racers. I considered taking this job opportunity, but decided I was ready to embark on a new chapter, pursuing a modeling career. I felt honored and blessed for being offered to play professionally.

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