Mr. Pat Leslie
By Alexis Schliepp, Grade 12
Everyone talks about a math teacher or an english teacher that impacts them. I wanted to share about my hitting coach that I started to see this fall. A lot of my friends were seeing him already and said he was amazing. When I first came to him, it was kind of a last resort. I was starting to become extremely frustrated with softball and I had zero confidence in myself.
I was so nervous for my first lesson and was terrified I was going to get torn to shreds. I went anyway and was greeted by the nicest man I have ever met. “Lexi? Right?” he asked when I walked in. Immediately I felt relaxed and was excited to see what I could learn.
After the first lesson I could not move. I was so sore from the hitting lesson but I was thrilled. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere with my hitting. I think I might have talked about my lesson for five days straight. I couldn’t wait to schedule my next lesson.
I came every other Monday for a hitting lesson with Mr. Pat. I always looked forward to driving up to the facility and heading up to the cages. We would play games that challenged me but I always had a blast. I had no idea how fast an hour could go by. It was always disappointing looking up and seeing my time was over.
I would go home after my lesson and work on hitting for another hour. I would focus on all of his notes so the next time I saw him I could impress him. I was slowly starting to get fewer corrections and catching myself when I did something wrong.
Three months later, I felt so confident and our winter tournament was coming up. I would be in the on-deck circle and go over all of the things Mr. Pat taught me. I have never hit better in the winter tournament before. The year before I didn’t get a single hit and might have cried. This year, I was on base every time and enjoyed softball again. I walked out after the last game of the tournament and there was Mr. Pat, ready to congratulate everyone.
Now my high school season has started and I can’t take lessons with him. I still hear his little reminders like “you dropped your elbow” or “your hands are too low”. He has changed my mindset for my high school season and taught me to always be confident in myself. I know what I am capable of now and I know I am a great player.