MELBOURNE, Fla.— There’s no doubt Alex Breeden loves softball.
“This game has given me more than I will ever be able to give back to it and that’s why I respect it so much,” said Alex Breeden, Viera’s head softball coach.
A passion that started just down the street from Viera High School.
“It was probably at Suntree little league and she played baseball, you know that was it,” said Joe Breeden, Alex’s dad.
Countless hours spent behind home plate.
“One of my first memories is actually us going over blocking with catching,” said Alex.
As she practiced with the man who ignited it all.
“Most of my memories with it are with him,” said Alex.
“Now the love she has for the game that I had and I think I had a little part in kind of teaching her that love,” said Joe.
Joe Breeden’s love developed through playing in the pros and eventually coaching in Major League Baseball for 30 years.
“Ten years with the Marlins, won a World Championship with them in 97’. Ten years with the Braves and along the way stops with the Yankees, Toronto, Cincinnati, Kansas City Royals,” said Joe.
He took that experience and handed it down to his daughter.
“I just knew there was only one way to do it. Go 100%. If you wanted to get better you have to keep practicing and practicing. It wasn’t going to happen by itself,” said Joe.
That hard work paid off when Alex earned a scholarship to play division-one softball at the University of South Alabama.
“If you’re going to do something you’re going to do it with your maximum ability. That’s something I got from him,” said Alex.
Now she takes those lessons and coaches at her former high school, Viera, with her dad as her assistant.
“I know some people think that might be tough because you’re the dad but she’s the boss and I know it. I wouldn’t want to be in any other place,” said Joe.
They ignited the flame and shape the next generation together.
“Not even just to be a better player but a better person because when you go out into the real world that’s what it’s going to be. People are going to hold you accountable so with these girls that’s what I preach to them. Good players, good people,” said Alex.
“The thing that makes me more proud than anything is what she has become and how she develops these young women here,” said Joe.
When the full circle comes to a close it’s a reminder that life is what you make of it.
“I don’t even know if I can put it into words in the correct way. It has been one of the coolest things of my life,” said Alex.
“Where else would I want to be? I had a great day with my daughter, it makes it good,” said Joe.