SAN DIEGO — Just three weeks into Avacado League play, the girls softball season at Carlsbad High School was cut short due to the coronavirus. But sisters London and Kennedy Jarrard haven’t let that stop them from sharpening their skills on the diamond.
The sisters were planning for one final season together this spring before older sister Kennedy heads off to Rider University in New Jersey, where the 18-year-old earned a Division I scholarship.
“I’m at short and she’s on the mound and I would encourage her and it’s fun to play with her because we get to turn double plays and it’s fun,” Kennedy said.
“I’ve played with most of the seniors my whole softball career and this was the last high school softball season that I was going to play with my sister, so it was just a bummer,” London said.
But the duo found a new way to push each other with a little encouragement from their father.
“At first, to lift it was like, ‘Ugh, we have to do it, ugh,’ and all the sudden, they start seeing results,” Jeff Jarrard said. “So we started tracking and keeping an Excel spreadsheet of what did you do last time when you benched, what did you do last time when you did military and all the sudden they see themselves improving.”
With no field access and no teammates to play with, the family turned to technology to stay sharp. The sisters use Diamond Kinetics, an app that uses motion analytics to track pitches and swings.
“You can see how far the ball goes in the air, it tells you how fast your bat speed is and that’s helpful because especially when you don’t have something to see, you can track whether it would have been a good hit or not,” Kennedy said.
“On the app, you can kind of compare yourself to what a Division I college softball player’s swing looks like, so I was able to compare myself to both them and my siblings and see where I am compared to them,” London said.
In a household of five kids, that’s created some friendly family competition.
“There’s been some WWF, WWE moments, but they’re enjoying each other and London won’t say it but she’s going to miss her sister so she’s had some time to bond together,” Jeff said.
Whether it’s bonding or training, the sisters agree their competitive spirit makes one another better.
“My sister pushes me to be a better player and I feel like I do the same to her, but having her here with me and being able to work with her has been so nice,” London said.
“We always run together and push each other to who’s fastest and so I’m really excited to see the results at the end because I know we’re both going to come out of this stronger and faster than we were before,” Kennedy said.
And with memories to last a lifetime.