Everybody has their own End-of-the-Year List and I’m no different.
Discover the 5 Greatest Things I Learned in 2022!
I’m an obsessive learner so imagine my challenge at arriving at a list of ONLY 5 things I learned all year! But, it’s my top 5 and it seems fitting to end 2022 with this list. I hope you enjoy it!
Learning for me isn’t an occasional habit, or nightly glance through the paper – it’s literally an obsession. I’m often distracted from something I NEED to do by something I want to learn. It can be random information, like learning the most remote lighthouse in the world is probably the Aniva lighthouse on a small rock off the coast of Sakhalin, to more useful information like finding out that Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro (head coach University of Memphis, former pitching coach University of Alabama) has each of her pitchers keep a detailed journal during practice and games.
I’m fortunate to speak at lots of clinics throughout the year which gives me the super cool pleasure of hearing other coaches speak, and learning from them! If you ever attend a clinic where I’m speaking, look for me in the back of the room feverishly taking notes – not only do I simply love hearing new perspectives and learning new things, but I also feel it’s my obligation as a coach to continue learning as much as I can to help every single player I come in contact with!
So let’s get started. Here’s my list of the 5 Greatest Things I Learned in 2022:
1. Players Want It – Team culture was a bit of a theme this year. I read a tremendous book detailing how the world’s most successful team – the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks – rebooted their team culture following their 2004 World Cup loss. They realized they had talented players but needed to have a healthier culture, so they started from scratch with the premise that “Better People Make Better All Blacks”. That’s a great statement and it’s just one of the nuggets I got from that book. For those of you readers out there, the book is titled: Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life – James Kerr.
I also had the pleasure of doing a Team Culture clinic for a softball organization and this was eye-opening for me! I separated Players, Parents and Coaches in all 5 age groups within their program and asked each to answer these simple questions:
- What does your team look like? NOT look like?
- What Behaviors will you allow? NOT allow?
The answers were incredible!! Players WANT IT! From world class pro athletes to 10 & under softball players – they want a healthy culture, they want to connect with adults, they want us to lead them and make the hard decisions, and they want to be good players and good people. Players Want It!
To help you with your team culture, check out eClinic 021: Team Culture – The Key to Your Team’s Success. This eClinic will walk you and your program through what it takes to identify and create a healthy team culture that will allow everyone within your program to thrive!
Another great resource to help you build a positive, thriving, healthy team culture is our book – Coach’s Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching Female Athletes.
2. We All Need Help – This year I really leaned on some people that helped me through life’s challenges. Too often we think we can handle things by ourselves or that we don’t really need help – and that’s not the case at all. We all need help!
This year taught me that I need help from others just as much as the players I work with need help from me. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a signal of motivation!
Use your help resources this coming year – family friends, teammates, coaches, mentors, teachers, co-workers. We’re here to help you at Softball Excellence so please call us anytime!! 1-800-995-1014
3. We All Want to Learn – Sometimes I don’t take the time to realize that I’m not the only one who wants to learn stuff. Most coaches and players are thirsting for knowledge, to gain that one nugget that will help them score one more run, to get a little more movement on the pitch, to get that extra bit of bat speed. I try to attend as many clinics as I can, soaking up the information provided by my fellow coaches and clinicians. And that’s why it’s such an honor to share what I learn and discover with you. To help make you (and me), the best we can be!
4. I Can Do More – This one is the shortest lesson I learned this year, but a VERY powerful and ongoing one. I CAN do more! Sure, in one sense I could donate more time or volunteer for a charity – but I’m not really talking about “more” in that sense. I’m talking about my own internal awareness of “more”.
I accomplished things this year that I went into telling myself, “I can’t”. I’m like that sometimes. I throw up roadblocks if I feel I either don’t understand something or can’t really picture how I’d do it. Either way, I needed help and nudging to get past my self-made blockade. I found out I could do more, and I was soooo much better off for that discovery!
I go to the gym a couple times a week and work with a trainer I’ve had for years. He always challenges the crap out of me by having me do workouts that at first, I don’t think I can do. Earlier this week we (which means me) did the 100 workout. Basically, that means you do 100 of each exercise. Sounds easy, and since the weights are pretty light, at first it is easy. That is until about rep 60…then easy isn’t a word I’d consider using at all!. At first I think “I can’t”. But then I learn to quiet that voice, take a short break if I have to, just make the next 5, and then before I know it, I’ve knocked out 100.
You CAN Do More – and it’s our greatest gift as coaches to help our players realize that on a daily basis!
If you’re looking for more coaching knowledge, on skills, strategy, practice plans – everything softball – then consider a Vault Classic™ or Softball Summit subscription. We have monthly and annual subscriptions to best meet any budget!
5. JOY Makes Everything Better – I’ve saved the greatest thing I’ve learned (really over the years) for last. I used to work a lot with 6 to 8 year-olds. I wasn’t training them for college, but simply helping them enjoy softball. But believe me; they helped me confront JOY on a daily basis! I don’t think you can be 6 without having Joy seeping out of your pores – and it was fantastic!
We would take breaks to watch birds fly by and wonder what we look like to them. We named large bald eagles “Fluffy”. And we would throw balls at water bottles left in the fence as a form of awesome target practice. Part of passion is Joy, and nobody excels at anything without some passion.
To this day, I remember what it was like working with those young players, and the joyful times we had. We can all use more Joy in our lives – so my New Year’s wish to you is Live Life with More Joy!!
From all of us at Softball Excellence to all of you –Thank You for a wonderful 2022!