Daily Archives: November 20, 2011

Gotta love the boomerangs

As most people know, coaching fastpitch softball is not my day job. It is something I do on the side.

Instead, I work for technology PR company Tech Image, which is one of the business units of a company called SmithBucklin, which is the world’s largest association management company. It was SmithBucklin  who introduced me to the term “boomerang,” which is the name they use for an employee who leaves the company then comes back.

This off-season I’ve had a couple of boomerangs. One was a short-term loss of a couple of months. A student had changed teams, the rest of the team was using a different pitching coach, they went along with it, the girl started to struggle and now she’s back. The other was actually two sisters whose family situation changed; their father contacted me during the summer and they’ve now started up again.

SmithBucklin always says the company loves boomerangs, and I can see why. While I always hate to lose a student, things happen from time to time. Circumstances change, sometimes the grass looks greener elsewhere, there can be all kinds of reasons. I find, though, that those who come back are often among the most enthusiastic students because they’ve had a taste of what else is out there and have made a conscious decision that being with me is the place they want to be.

That’s not to say I want every student to go away for awhile and come back. Far from it! I definitely appreciate those who stay from beginning to end. But where many instructors might feel funny about a student coming back after going away (probably because they take it personally) I welcome it.

What about you, whether you’re a private coach or a team coach? How do you feel when a player goes away then wants to come back? Do you welcome her back, or do you feel like once you’re gone you’re gone?

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