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Episode 36: Rachel Balkovec

NY Yankees Hitting Coach Rachel Balkovec on breaking barriers, ambition, and fighting through adversity

Today, New York Yankees Hitting Coach Rachel Balkovec joins Opening the Playbook to share her path to becoming the first female hitting coach in the MLB.


Rachel has a resume to impress, which includes a lengthy Division 1 softball career, a stint as a strength and conditioning coach at LSU, and an internship with the St. Louis Cardinals, but quickly found out it was about more than just what was on paper when it came to getting a job in baseball. It was about gender and being a woman. In this latest episode, Rachel shares her struggles with breaking into the sport (including briefly changing her name to try to gain traction) and what she now tells other women who want to do the same.


Rachel has become a pro at turning adversity into opportunity, which has become obvious with her work with players. She has a passion for player development, and at times, uses her past experience to help better their game. She’s currently helping a pitcher who has the case of the yips, which is something that ended her playing career years ago. Today, she explains what that experience was like, being diagnosed with PSTD, and how she only recently has been able to throw a ball again.


Episode topics:

· Becoming the first female hitting coach in the MLB

· Her struggle of trying to break into the MLB

· The yips and PTSD, and how she created opportunity from her experience

· Her passion for player development and the position she’s ambitious for


Quote:

“It’s never been my mission to be the first at anything but what I will say is that when I was 10 I said I wanted to be the first female kicker in the NFL…I’ve always been this rule breaker, this hellion, this I’ll show you, come from behind underdog type of human since I was very young. And no one from my childhood is surprised that I’m doing this.”

-Rachel Balkovec


Resources:


Guest Info – Rachel Balkovec

Instagram: @rachel.balkovec

Twitter: @_rachelbalkovec

Facebook: Rachel Balkovec

Tiktok: @rachel.balkovec

Website: www.rachelbalkovec.com


Host Info – Christina Heydanus

Instagram: @tinaheydanus

Twitter: @tinaheydanus


Show Info – Opening the Playbook

Website: https://www.openingtheplaybook.com

Instagram: @openingtheplaybook

Facebook: Opening the Playbook

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