Florida's Katie Chronister Finds Confidence Needed To Thrive
Florida lefty pitcher Katie Chronister has learned a lot since a pivotal moment she had with head coach Tim Walton early on in her college career.
“I remember the conversation like it was yesterday,” Chronister told Softball America. “I was in Coach Walton’s office and he kind of knew that I was wanting confidence from somewhere. I wanted it from him. He looked at me and was like, ‘How can I have confidence in you if you don’t even have confidence in yourself?’”
After facing some never-before-felt confidence issues, Chronister, now a fifth-year student-athlete, leaned on her head coach to help get her back on track.
The conversation made her realize that in order to succeed at the highest level in college softball, she was going to have to believe in herself first.
“After that talk, I had to do a lot of self-reflecting and realize that I’m not going to get the confidence that I need from others, I’m going to get it from myself,” said Chronister. “The amount of confidence I portray in myself is going to be reciprocated from my teammates and coaches.
“I think it’s important for me to know that if I want to stay true to myself, I have to dig deep within myself to get what I need.”
Learning her capabilities and just what she can accomplish when she puts in the work has been a game-changer for Chronister over the course of her career. She has come to love the spotlight that comes with being in the circle and says that she feeds off the adrenaline rush that comes with it. And her results have been positive so far this season. In six appearances this year, Chronister has a 5-1 record with a 1.52 ERA and 20 strikeouts.
“It’s a challenge every day,” she said. “I’ve had to learn that there’s going to be failure even when I throw a good pitch. Being able to understand that part of the game and that sometimes you’re just going to get beat, but also figuring out a way to be better next time and having to think on your feet is what I love.”
As one of the experienced leaders on a Florida squad that is always a threat to win it all, Chronister has learned that confidence is more than just riding the highs. She feels that her time in a Gators uniform has brought her plenty of high points as well as a few low ones, but staying consistent and level-headed through it all is a major key to her success.
“Simply put, my role is just pitching,” said Chronister. “Whether I start a game or come into one, my job is to just get outs.”
Chronister feels that this Florida team can go all the way. Currently sitting at 14-1 this season, the Gators are equipped with a defense that is always steady, a pitching staff that is diverse and dynamic and an offensive lineup that is deadly one through nine.
“This year, there is a chance for everyone on our team to contribute and to help us walk off a big game,” Chronister said. “I want to contribute to the team in any way that I can. I look at it as wanting to accomplish exactly what I need to—keeping the game close for our team and being able to come out with a win.”