Please introduce yourself.
My name is Amie Hutchison and I am a pitcher/utility player on the Great Britain National team. I am 21 years old and grew up in Fakenham (United Kingdom). I have been playing softball since I was 12 years old.  I was invited to attend a GB Academy session and have been going ever since. Also, I traveled to the Netherlands to train and was invited by Andre Prins to go and play for his club team called the Birds in the Netherlands, where we got promoted to the silver league and won a silver medal in the junior women’s super-cup. This August I will be attending Francis Marion University in South Carolina (USA), where I will be majoring in Sports Management.

What made you want to play softball?
From a young age, I have always enjoyed taking part in sport, playing football and other sports. My local high school plays a little bit of slowpitch. and sessions were put on after school which I attended.  The GB Women’s fastpitch Head coach Hayley Scott came down and took a session where she asked me to attend an academy session down in Oxford. At the age of 12, I was asked to travel with the U13 to their European Championship in Turkey which was a great honour for me to wear the GB Shirt and represent my country. From there on I have continued to play the sport I love.

Can you tell me something about softball in your home country?
There’s minimal Softball where I live and I have to travel 2 and half hours to London to train with my team. Over the years Softball has grown where more adults and children are getting involved and enjoying the sport. Slowpitch is a popular recreation sport for many but Fastpitch softball is continually developing as a competitive sport. During the summer GB has a Fastpitch League for men and women experienced and those new to fastpitch.

Was it difficult to get into the national team and what is the process?
Trying out for a national is a challenge that I look forward to the most. You receive an email to ask if you would like to be considered for selection, I then had to reply back saying that I would like to try out for the GB Team. GB would send out the information they require back from you including skills and fitness videos. A few weeks later you will get an email to say whether you are successful, with other essential information.

What are the biggest differences between European and American softball?
The biggest thing I have noticed about softball in Europe and America is that when you go anywhere in the states there are ball fields everywhere. In Europe, only a few countries have ball fields. Playing in America you will play 60 games. 

Was it hard to get into your college softball team and what was the process?
Going to college in America is a challenge that comes with great experiences, moving to a new country to play and study is a dream for me. As an international student-athlete, you have to send a skills video to coaches and schools that you have an interest in. Coaches then get in contact with you to discuss options for playing for their college.

How did you like the European Championships this year and are you satisfied with the outcome?
I enjoyed playing and representing GB in the European Championships it was a great honour to be selected and, it was the first time GB U22’s has entered a team. It was great to make new friends and work together and get to know each other’s strengths and abilities we have.

Who's your role model and why?
Lisa Fernandez is my role model because she is one of the best athletes to play the game of softball. She did it all, pitching, hitting and fielding. She loves the game with unbelievable passion and respect.

What is the best advice someone ever gave you?
I have had many pieces of advice over the years, but this is a piece of advice that sticks with me forever: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” Tim Notke.

What do you think is the key to a successful team?
There are many attributes to being successful. I believe there it is not about just having one attribute, it’s about having a combination of all them. Everyone brings something different to the team and if everyone can take something from each person then that is what makes a successful team. A successful team should consist of players and coaches who are dedicated, committed in their role to achieve great results. Team members have a clear understanding of each other’s role, goals, and expectations by the coaching staff. It's important to value, respect each other, a good balance of skills, abilities, and aspirations. Players and coaches give support by listening, evaluating, encouraging. Good team performance, positive team relations need to be maintained throughout training and games.

- Romy Marinus -
/Picture by Dirk Steffen/