By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports
Newly hired Goddard softball coach Jessica Zamora is extremely eager to get to work, but unfortunately, COVID-19 relief efforts have forced her to alter her plans.
Zamora, like much of the country, is still figuring out how to maneuver through this ever-changing world, and with the current safety guidelines in place, this has made her job even more complicated. Zamora has yet to even meet her players in person, something that is extremely difficult to deal with when trying to establish a new culture for the program.
“With the pandemic, I have only met with my assistant coaches because we aren’t allowed to do anything with the team yet,” said Zamora. “I want to follow all the guidelines and make sure everyone stays safe, but I also want to encourage the girls to continue to practice softball-related skills.
“I want them to work on what they need to work on and take it upon themselves to prepare for the season. This is not a typical offseason; we won’t be able to work on fielding or batting as a team. When we are together, we will be primarily conditioning, so when they are by themselves, I am going to write up workouts for them to improve their game on their own time.”
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Zamora is hopeful that she will be able to hold a face-to-face meeting with her players and parents soon and is excited to share her new vision for the program. Her passion for the game is contagious and she enters her new role with a strong desire to win.
Zamora believes more structure will be the key to turning things around for Goddard softball and wants to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page moving forward. Any coach will tell you that you get the most out of your athletes when your team is unified and those are sentiments that Zamora takes to heart.
As a collegiate softball player herself, Zamora knows how to handle adversity when life throws you a curveball. She has been around the game her entire life and was a five-year varsity letter winner at Roswell High School, earning All-District honors on three separate occasions.
Zamora would later go on to star at the University of the Southwest where she locked down the shortstop position during her four years in Hobbs, N.M. She was twice recognized as the Red River Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-RRAC selection following her junior campaign.
Zamora first got into coaching as a student assistant at USW while she finished her undergraduate degree before being brought on as a graduate assistant coach the following season. Through her many years being directly involved with the game, she feels she has exceptional softball IQ and wants to pass that on to the younger generation.
“I am excited to have Jessica Zamora as the new Goddard softball head coach,” said Britt Cooper, Roswell Independent School District athletic director. “She brings enthusiasm and knowledge of the game and I believe she has the ability to take Goddard to the next level.”
Dedication, perseverance and determination are key characteristics that Zamora has outlined as crucial pieces of a successful team. Once the Goddard girls’ softball team is allowed to return to play, Zamora wants her team to take the field with purpose and ready to give maximum effort.
“Girls who want to be better will get better,” explains Zamora, and these are the type of players she hopes her program will begin to produce.
“One of my short-term goals is to help these girls improve on their fundamentals to put the team in a better position to win more games,” said Zamora. “In the long-term, I want to make it to a state tournament, which I think would be a great experience for the team. With the underclassmen, I want to develop them into more knowledgeable and skillful players to prepare them to be successful at the next level.”
Zamora is a young coach with proven leadership skills who knows exactly what it takes to be successful in the sport. She plans to be with the program for many years and wants to impact her players’ entire lives.
Whether it be athletics, academics or personal issues, Zamora wants to be a resource for her team and hopes to provide her girls with a positive role model to look up to. Her dedication is unrivaled and Zamora is ready to put everything she has into the emergence of the Goddard softball program.