‘Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes improvement’: Good Hope’s Addyson Burgess preparing for upcoming season

Good Hope's Addyson Burgess. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — The Good Hope Lady Raiders finished as runners-up in the area tournament and clinch a spot at the North Regional in 2022 and sophomore Addyson Burgess is excited to build on the momentum from last year and help her team make another run in 2023.

“To be such a young team and have so much room for improving, I feel like we all left our heart on the field every game and were dedicated to the game. The thing I learned the most from the 2022 campaign was that we need to trust each other in order to play as a team and do greater things as we improve. Although we were young, that is no excuse to our work effort and how we apply ourselves on and off the field. Altogether, we need to trust each other, work together, and take responsibility. I believe this team will do big things as we grow.”

Addyson has played for some great coaches during her years with the varsity and has soaked up so much from them so far.

“Tim Tucker is a stern coach with undeniable dedication who believes that if you work hard, you’ll get where you want to be, but you get out what you put in. He has taught me that when things get tough, you ride it out with your game face on. Another thing that coach Tucker has taught me is punctuality. People are watching how you act now to see how you act later.”

She added,

“Coach (Phillip) Keef has taught me to laugh a little along the way and give it my all to go far. He is always there for me and the girls. He is always the first one there and the last one to leave by helping and always make sure the facility looks the best it can. I love the relationship he has built with the girls and especially his daughter through a sport. Coach Skylar Tucker is a mini-me to coach Tucker and is following in his footsteps to be a great coach. She has a bit of a softer side and has ways to relate to the girls on a different level but can always get the point across. These coaches are a great trio.”

Burgess sees this team doing great things in 2023 and feels blessed to play alongside a great group of young players.

“I believe that if we work hard enough, we can win county and go far in regionals, but we will have to give it our all and work as a team,” Burgess said. “Playing with these girls has been so much fun because I have grown up playing with most of these girls and we have all grown together. I want to be a better role model for the younger girls, so they have someone to look up to as a leader and be the person they want to be like. What I really look forward to is seeing us in two to three years.”

Addyson has improved her game the past two seasons, but she’s still working on getting better every day.

“I feel like I’m a totally different athlete from my first year of playing varsity. My batting average has definitely improved tremendously and I’m super proud of the three home runs I hit this year. When I pitch, I can go through the game hitting my spots to help my defense get the easy outs,” Burgess said. “The things I need to work on is getting more consistent with my change-ups, getting more speed with my pitches, and keeping a positive attitude. There is always room for improvement in everything. Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes improvement.”

Addyson has spent a lot of time trying to learn from the team’s lone senior, Bailey Keef and she’s excited to get back on the field with her in the spring.

“I’ve learned a lot physically from Bailey. She definitely leads by example. I feel like she is a great leader to the team because she avoids conflict and pushes everyone to be better by giving it her all. During the Cold Springs game, she got hurt and still finished out the game for her team. She is one of the most selfless people and so sweet. She’s an amazing athlete with a lot of hustle. She always brings a good attitude and hard work ethic to the team,” Burgess said.

Burgess is excited about the upcoming season and talked about what she thinks will make this year’s team special.

“I’ve learned the real definition of there is no ‘I’ in team and it takes a family to work together and be better. I feel like I’ve also learned that people are always going to talk about you; you just have to smile and focus on improving yourself. I’ve also learned that there are coaches that put their all into something, even when they don’t have a kid on the team. They are the reason I give it my all because I know they give it their all as well. What makes us so special to watch is watching everyone grow and learning how to work together and do the bigger things in the game. We really love the game, and we display it when we play.”

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