One man gathers what another man spills

The title phrase for this post is a song lyric. It comes from the Grateful Dead. My friend and co-coach Rich was the person who introduced me to it (old hippie that he is). I was thinking about that tonight as I pondered the aftermath of tryouts.

By now most teams have completed their tryouts for the 2009 season. Some of them, maybe even many, look a lot like they did in 2008. Others, however, may have had a lot of turnover in players.

That kind of thing can be traumatic for some people. They look at the players who left — whom they know — and wonder how the team will ever recover and be any good. This is more of a parent thing than a player thing, incidentally.

Well, the team will certainly be different. But if you’re one of those left behind, it may actually be a good thing for you. You see, on teams that have been around for a while, the coaches make certain assumptions about their players. Consciously or unconsciously, there is a pecking order that was established long ago, especially at certain key positions. It’s tough to break through that for new players, or players who skills may not have been so good when they joined the team.

But as those preferred players leave it opens up opportunities for others. If there was an established shortstop you (or your daughter) may never have had a reasonable shot to play there. If the shortstop leaves, however, she has to be replaced, which creates an opportunity that wasn’t there before.

The same is true at every position — even pitcher. While it’s always tough on a team to lose a great pitcher, it does create the opportunity for #2 (or #3 or #4) to step up and take on a bigger role.

Remember what Charles R. Swindoll said: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Players leaving a team is part of the 10%. What you do about it falls in the 90% category. Instead of moaning over it, take advantage of the opportunity. You don’t get that many opportunities in life to make such a big leap forward.

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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 September 6, 2008, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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