Softball Shutdown April 9, 2020 Blog edition #2
By: Coach Roth
Well here we are- shutdown. No matter your feelings about how long things should get shutdown because of the virus, this has already been a huge loss for the Softball family. Season cut short- at best. My heart goes out to all softballers, especially the fastpitch high school and college seniors. Not only for missing significant time in softball, but for all the time missed in their other senior year activities. Such a special time lost for them.
For that I say- Sorry for this loss. It is not fair. As you know, lots of things in life are not fair. Tough times are like a punch in the gut. Brings to mind one of my favorite movie lines. It’s from Sylvester Stallone, as Rocky Balboa-
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
The message is- no matter how hard life hits and gets you down, to overcome this you need to get back up and keep on going. That’s powerful guidance we can use for helping us through this temporary rough spell. And guess what the silver lining is- the shutdown does not stop you from working on your softball game.
Thinking back, we have all experienced tough losses on the field. It can really get a player and coach to reflect on what could have been done differently. Using the model of the two things you can control- attitude and effort, let’s examine what the player and coaches should be thinking.
As a player- Could you have put in any more effort or focus in practice/game play to get a better outcome for yourself and your team? Was your attitude helpful or hurtful?
As a coach- Could you have put in more time in quality practice preparation for team deficiencies? Are your practice/game actions productive or counter-incentive?
Everybody thinks back to what could have been. Here are 3 questions that should be asked after every game win or lose-
1) What did we do wrong? Evaluation by both Players and Coaches
2) Is what that went wrong correctable? Hint, most of the time- yes.
3) What are we going to do to fix it? Understanding the best fix is working on your weaknesses.
Many times, we recognize what went wrong (1). And acknowledge what we did wrong is correctable (2). But we don’t spend extra time working on the things that went wrong to fix it (3).
If no action is taken to correct the mistakes than how do you think the mistakes will be corrected. For instance, if you as a player struggle with hitting outside pitches. Simply going thru the motions in the next practice and only working on normal down the middle batting tee hitting- How are you able to go into the next game and feel confident in hitting an outside pitch? Magic maybe?
Or, as a coach, for example, Let’s say your team made many throwing errors and it’s been a weakness for all season. Would running your standard practice be the best remedy? Probably not. Like most weaknesses, only time spent working on them has greater chance of improving said weakness.
Not working on your weaknesses are only a recipe for disaster. Make good on correcting the mistakes by working on your weaknesses. This gives the best chance for success and what we all strive for- more wins! Much funner winning. However, don’t think winning is a reason to not work on your weaknesses. Keep this mindset to reach higher levels of softball excellence.
In conclusion, this shutdown just like softball losses give us room for reflection. Control what you can control- attitude and effort. Use this shutdown time as extra time to get better. Grab a ball and toss. Take a bat and swing. Keep checking out sites like this to improve your knowledge of the game. We can either choose to sit around and pout or…. make lemonade out of the lemons and work on improving ourselves. I promise you will feel much better doing the latter.
Be well and Play Ball!