What’s not to love

When the Mundelein Thunder team I coached this year was getting ready to head down to Northern Nationals I was thrown for a last-minute loop. We were scheduled to head to the tournament on a Tuesday. The Saturday before two players said they weren’t going to be able to attend. With one other already unsure if she’d be able to go due to a family emergency, things were looking bleak. I had exactly nine players going. It was time to start scrambling.

I called a girl named Kathleen who had played for me the year before, and who I had worked with on her hitting during the high school and travel season. (Kathleen had left due as much to a political issue with her high school as anything. Things happen, ya know?)

In any case, I knew her summer team wasn’t going anywhere for Nationals since I’d already snagged one girl back, so three days before it was time to leave I asked if she’d like to go with us. She jumped at the chance. She rearranged her work schedule, her parents got vacation time, and she joined us for the tournament.

That would be pretty cool by itself. What I just found out, though, is that not only did she do all of that, she played with a finger that was either badly bruised or broken. I never knew it, she never complained or said “I can’t do that.” She was just happy to have the chance to be there, and willing to do whatever it took.

That kind of thing doesn’t show up in a stat sheet. You can’t measure it with a stopwatch or a tape measure. But any coach should be thrilled to have someone with that kind of heart and dedication. In this self-centered day and age those qualities seem to be few and far between.


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on August 21, 2007, in Coaching, General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ken, enjoyed reading your article. That’s what you call passion for the game. You’ll do what ever it takes.


  2. Definitely! It’s funny. She came to us originally from another team. Her mom told me they didn’t like anything about the way she played. We could never figure that out. Good kid, good ballplayer. Their loss!


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