An interview with Thunder/SmashItSports/Blowoutpicks.com infielder Adam Ussery
Interview conducted on 12/21/2016
Who are you playing with in 2017?
Thunder/Smash It Sports/BlowOutPicks.com
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Offensively- Greg Connell, Bryson Baker, and Kyle Pearson. Greg and Kyle hit the ball harder and farther than anyone I have seen. Bryson just makes hitting look easy.
Defensively- Kevin Bazat, Luis Reyna, and Steve Whaley. They are all fun to watch and make hard plays look easy.
Why do you like the game of softball?
Softball allows me to stay competitive. I have also met several lifelong friends playing softball.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Brian McBryde- He makes great plays look routine and plays the game the right way offensively.
Adam Kaminski- Kam kills it and he is a guy I would want in the box with a chance to win the game.
Kevin Bryant- Playing with FBI this year. Takes away several hits a game and constantly works on his game. Look for big things out of him in the future!
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
AU is the one nickname that has stuck with me. However, Troupe came up with several nicknames last year with LineDrive.
Little Brown Truck
What is your height and weight?
5'10 195 lbs
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Spending time with my wife and family at the lake, or hanging out at the ball fields with friends.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Sales Manager for Tanners Team Sports in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Played baseball in high school and also played baseball for 4 years at Henderson State University in Arkansas.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
The summer after I was done playing college ball some of my baseball buddies and I played in a local tournament. A guy named Derrick Nelson approached me and asked if I would be interested in playing tournament ball with his 'D' team. I have been hooked ever since.
3 years ago I was playing with a 'C' team called "Aftershock" out of Arkansas when Rowdy Mott asked our coach what he thought about taking our team to play conference ball. Coach Kelly Davis, along with fellow shot caller Addison Rayford, decided to jump on the opportunity. That year was very humbling.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The consistency of players 1 through 11 both offensively and defensively.
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
There is not really a player I compare my game to but after playing with Sid Stephany last year, I try to be as good of a teammate and dugout guy as he is. Great player on and off the field.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
My first homerun in the stadium at the Major World Series this past year was a memorable moment for me.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
There are several sponsors/coaches who have impacted my softball career:
Derrick Nelson and Shawn Hardage have both been great mentors for me. They taught me to play the game with respect and the right way.
My BP partner Zach Keene shares his infinite softball wisdom with me every BP session.
I would also like to thank Seth Green for the chance to play for Thunder in 2017.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Hustle and give 100% effort every game because you never know who is watching. Always show respect to your coaches and sponsors.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
27 oz with a pinky overlap.
Visit www.vulcangrips.com to get your Vulcan Bat Grips today. 🙂 Get your VULCAN GRIPS through Adam!
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Lift weights and hit a lot of BP.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Arkansas Razorbacks. I enjoy watching baseball and football.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
Nothing specific, but if something is working I usually stick with it.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Some kind of up-beat country or rap song. This past year it was "This Is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line.
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
I enjoy upper softball the way it is.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
The Busch in Sherwood, Arkansas is always fun. Tons of people come out to watch and playing close to home is awesome!
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
I'm a big fan of Big League Dreams in Mansfield Texas. The fields are sweet and the atmosphere is always good.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Buffalo Wild Wings or Chick-Fil-A
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Funniest thing I've seen on a softball field:
Budfest @ Mansfield:
Aftershock vs Bear Hollow Ranch
Addison Rayford was pitching and there was a ball hit sharply up the middle with the bases loaded. Our centerfielder Evan Eary runs in and misplays the ball and it goes right underneath his glove and rolls all the way to the wall. Inside the park grand slam, and Evans explanation was the best part "Man, that ball was snaking! Craziest thing I have ever seen". We haven't let him live it down to this day.
Off the field would have to be "Frito" the seal at the Mystic Dunes pool.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My senior year at Henderson State I received the Sportsmanship Award. Pretty cool to be recognized by your coaches and teammates with an award like that.