The Jordyn rules
Healthy diet, commitment to weightlifting paying off for Central junior catcher Hays
When sitting at Taco Bell for lunch, Jordyn Hays pops open a container of turkey and rice she brought from home. As her friends chow down on cheap burritos, Hays is eating healthy.
“Oh my gosh,” Hays said. “When I see people eating those burritos, it’s super hard. But I might as well start now, or it will catch up to me later. I have an advantage on everybody who’s eating like that.”
When Hays is on the road with the Central High School softball team, Warriors coach Scott Else said the team makes restaurant choices with Hays’ healthy lifestyle in mind.
On top of the clean diet, Hays wakes up early each morning, often before 5 a.m., to lift weights.
“She’s doing things you don’t see kids do until they get into college,” Else said.
Her dedication to living healthy, and her commitment to softball, have led to some prestigious recognition for the junior catcher.
Hays was the Maxpreps.com/National Fastpitch Coaches Association national high school softball player of the week from Sept. 12-18. In wins over Grand Junction and Montrose that week, Hays was 6 for 7 with two home runs, two doubles and 10 RBI.
Currently, Hays is hitting .524 with four home runs, 35 RBI and 25 runs in 19 games. She’s been a key piece in the Warriors qualifying for the postseason. Central hosts the Region 8 tournament Saturday.
“Jordyn’s ... the only way I can describe it is that she’s a machine,” Else said. “She doesn’t let outside things influence her and her worst enemy is herself on those off times where she doubts herself. Otherwise, she’s so mechanical, so methodical, so machine-like that she doesn’t let stuff rattle her. She doesn’t let too much bother her at all.”
Else added that Hays is meticulous in practice and preparation. She prepares and studies and analyzes. But during games, Hays said, her emphasis shifts. Once she’s in the batter’s box, her focus narrows.
“I’m just thinking weight back and drive the back, most of the time,” Hays said. “That’s about it. I try not to think too much, at all, or just end up whiffing it.”
The weight shift is the point of Hays’ power. Weightlifting and a healthy diet have shaped Hays into a solidly built hitter. Very little wasted motion, but packing a ton of power.
Else said Hays’ swing is mechanically solid.
“Jordyn’s a little freak of nature for her age,” Else said. “Her hands get through the zone and she’s focused on the follow-through.”
That follow-through is noticeable in her warmups. When she’s on deck, Hays whips the bat through the zone and extends her loose follow-through to an extreme level. She ends her swings by smacking the bat on her back.
“I had an old player, Mikayla Duffy, who did that,” Else said. “They’re just focusing on breaking the wrists and really following through. She’s always done it, so we’re going to let her keep doing.”
Else laughed before adding, “It seems to be working.”