TAMPA, Fla. – University of South Florida softball pitcher Miriam Schmoll is coming to terms with imperfection.
Schmoll always has been rather hard on herself, driven to get where she wanted based on her sheer will.
“I started the trek while taking high school classes in middle school so I could take college classes in high school,” Schmoll said Thursday at the USF softball stadium. “I’m a perfectionist.”
Entering college softball, she is now adjusting to dealing with the flaws that come with being human and trying to not be too critical of herself.
“That’s probably been the hardest thing since I’ve gotten here,” Schmoll said. “I’m still working on it everyday.”
She recalled a fall game where she was beating herself up.
“I was frustrated with myself because I felt I wasn’t putting the ball where I needed to put it,” she said. “Coach Jessica [Moore] and Coach [Ken] Eriksen had a long talk after that game of putting things into perspective. This game is all about failure and accepting that.”
Schmoll is a freshman but academically she is a junior and a Communications Sciences and Disorders major.
She credits her parents for instilling her with a rigorous work ethic with two competing attitudes towards hard work.
“Mom’s more intellectual – figure a game plan before you jump in – but my Dad is like ‘Just be stubborn,’” she said.
Schmoll also was influenced by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Gladwell states that to become a master in a particular craft requires at least 10,000 hours of working practice.
“I remember reading that book when I was in the sixth grade,” Schmoll said. “It became a subconscious thing. If I [pitch] every day I’ll eventually get those hours in.”