Throughout her high school years, Lisa was a natural athlete. Whether it was with a bat in her hand or loaded down in catcher’s gear, her talent would never waiver, making headlines in the local newspapers and winning many awards. But for Lisa, her athletic notoriety wasn’t a big deal compared to her everyday home life struggles having a single mother, two siblings, and living in low income housing. It was when Lisa was asked about her college plans for softball, that she had to stop and take a deep breath. The idea of going to college to play ball was never a vision painted on her canvas of life. Rather, Lisa’s plan was to finish high school and get a job since that is all she had ever known.
Lisa made her first appearance as a guest player on a club team, she felt completely out of her element. Looking down at her old ratty hand-me-down cleats, Lisa felt so insecure and unworthy of playing with the elite girls, who all looked so spiffy in their new softball gear. These were well-to-do girls getting private lessons with every team/clinic and well-known coaches possible. Sheepishly, Lisa asked her mother if she too could have some private lessons. As always, Lisa's mother would work her hands to the bone to make it happen for her youngest daughter.
Lisa met with a very prominent hitting coach. He sat on a bucket, seemingly uninterested, feeding her balls to hit off of the tee, moving the tee, and tossing her the ball, for 30-minutes straight. When the session was done, the coach gave Lisa a pat on the back. Learning nothing, Lisa walked off the practice field feeling disappointed and unsatisfied. Knowing that her mother had to clean an extra house for this private 30-minute lesson was so incredibly disheartening for Lisa. It was in that moment that she aspired to provide private hitting lessons and be the one to change the standard of the "private lesson hitting coach".
That weekend as a guest player would seal Lisa’s fate. Impressed by her innate talent, four colleges approached her. Overwhelmed by the offers and giddy with excitement, Lisa went to college doing what she loved…playing softball. Throughout her college years, Lisa played in the NCAA, became a standout NCAA collegiate athlete, made it to the World Series, was a four-year starter, and was team captain both junior and senior year. Moreover, Lisa would break the mold, being the first in her family to go away to school as well as play in the NCAA, making her biggest cheerleader, her mother, so incredibly proud.
After college, life was a bit of a grind for Lisa, a life she had known all too well. Just to make ends meet, she held four jobs. But Lisa always knew she was meant for so much more than hustling to pay the bills. She had passion, she had vision, and she had a God-given talent that laid dormant for far too long.
One day, while reflecting on her glory days and daydreaming out loud, Lisa had a eureka moment. It was right then that she decided to put a plan in motion, to work for herself and become a private lesson hitting coach.
At the young age of 21, Lisa went to work doing what she loved…softball! It certainly was no easy feat getting started. But with perseverance and dedication, Lisa morphed from an independent contractor to a company. Her idea to start outdoor mobile softball training was an instant success, but of course, that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy this hungry entrepreneur’s appetite. Lisa sought out some real estate and rented a small space to expand her business, taking it indoors to a year-round business.
In 2007, Lisa planted the seeds for success. And oh, how those seeds have grown! Starting with a bucket of balls as a one-woman show, Lisa now has a staff of fourteen. Starting out training one girl a week, Lisa’s softball training company now averages 8,000-10,000 softball athletes each year with softball camps held in various states. With a deep desire to change the standard of hitting coaches, Lisa is now the founder and developer of C.U.D.I.T.® Hitting Certification, with coaches in six states becoming certified in her first certification cycle.
The big picture for Lisa is to reach players across the world who can relate to her story. She believes that too much emphasis is put on the players that make it big, forgetting about those who lack the opportunities to shine. “So many athletes get lost in the cracks because they don't have the path and role models to see a vision. I was one of those athletes. I was the girl that was a statistic”, says Lisa. Lisa has made it her life's mission to be a trailblazer for these forgotten athletes and believes that with the right guidance and resources available to them, they too can reach their dreams.
They say in life, everything happens for a reason and that we are all exactly where we are meant to be. Pure grit has been the driving force behind Lisa’s success. She started with a vision to break the mold. To be the girl who grew up with nothing but a dream. Today, Lisa Rizzo is living that dream and is exactly where she is meant to be; a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, founder of C.U.D.I.T.® Certification and the National C.U.D.I.T.® Camps.