Monthly Archives: October 2015
We often talk about how difficult the sport of softball is to learn and play. It can take years for players to get the hang of the game, and coaches and parents frequently get frustrated when their players don’t “get it” right away.
And few positions demand more of a player than being a catcher – especially since one of the key ways to measure the effectiveness of a catcher is their ability to throw runners out when they’re trying to steal. It takes quick reactions, a strong arm, and a quick transfer of the ball from the glove to the free hand.
That’s what makes this video so inspirational. It’s about Jaide Bucher, a high school catcher from Denver, who does all of this while only having one hand – her left hand.
The good folks from Gatorade recently made one of her dreams come true when they arranged for her to fly to LA to meet her idol, former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott played at the highest level of baseball (even pitching a no-hitter) while also only having one hand.
Give this inspirational video a look. It’ll give you a great idea of what determination and love for the sport can accomplish.
Apparently I’m not the only one thinking about big picture issues right now. I came across this blog post through a friend (an actual friend, not a “Friend”) on Facebook. KJ, thanks for posting it.
The post talks about one of the most important things a coach can bring to players – the ability to see beyond that game, that season or even the sport itself to understand the influence he or she can have. Here’s an excerpt:
If all coaches could see into the future, to that very day when a kid puts away the cleats or the hi-tops for the last time and walks away from a game………would they choose to coach individual kids differently than they presently do?
That’s a great thought, and very well stated. Wish I’d said it, in fact.
The post is written from the perspective of a parent/coach watching his daughter play her last soccer game ever. It’s well worth a read – not just by parents, but by coaches. Especially coaches who don’t have kids and may not realize the impact they can have.
Give it a look. I think you’ll find it worthwhile. And I add my thanks to all of you who do get this point, and go out there every day not just trying to win championships but help kids grow into the best versions of themselves they can be.
I was thinking about this today as I was thinking about my daughters and a couple of other players who used to play with us.
If you are a current player, there are no doubt times when you find the whole training/practicing thing to be a pain. In fact, you may sometimes look at yet another game or tournament and think “Much as I love the game it sure will be nice when it’s all over and my time is my own.”
Take it from those players I was talking about at the beginning. I have yet to run into a former player who doesn’t wish she could get back out on the field just one more time to play a game or tournament that matters.
Yes, you can still play slow pitch, or maybe if you’re lucky you can find a fastpitch league somewhere. But it’s not the same. There just isn’t the level of intensity you find when you’re playing competitive ball on a regular basis, whether that’s travel, rec, high school or college.
You may not miss it right away. But one day you’ll realize just how much fun it was, and how cool, and you’ll wish you could go back and do it all again, just one more time. So…
If you’re currently a player in her last season, keep that in mind as you’re lifting, or going to lessons, or practicing. It does have an expiration date.
Also keep in mind that this final year you will be as good as you’re ever going to be, because once you’re done practicing and playing regularly all those skills you worked so hard to gain will start to deteriorate. Maybe not much at first, but they will go, and things that once came easily will now be more difficult. Or they may not be there at all anymore.
Use that as your special motivation to get past the grind of preparation. Make sure when you leave the game you feel there’s nothing more you could have done to make yourself better. Because if you don’t, once that last out is recorded you’ll have the rest of your life ahead of you. And you won’t want to spend it wishing you’d done a little more, or appreciated it a little more.
Take it from those who have come and gone before you.