I recently returned from the best softball gathering on the planet – the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) convention in Atlanta and it left me with 5 great take-a-ways I want to share with you.
Being a part of the largest collection of the best softball coaches in the world is always an exciting, energizing and invigorating experience and here are my top 5 reasons why:
- Record Numbers – Over 1,400 attended this year’s convention making it one of the largest ever in NFCA history! It’s always exciting to be a part of something so large, but considering that this event is held the week immediately following Thanksgiving, it also tells you how much these coaches want to learn, grow, lead and share with each other. There’s nothing like the energy of an in-person event, and kudos to everybody who made the trip!
Take-Away: Actively participating in something that brings people together for a common cause is unifying and energizing. Find something you love and get involved!
- Hungry to Learn – This is the part that truly amazes me. These coaches, the majority of whom are college coaches, are packed into every educational session offered in an effort to learn more and to grow. Coaches that you watch on TV, or coach the college team right down the road are sitting there with their notepads out glued to whoever’s speaking while they take note after note.
They’re meeting in hallways, or in sudden flash-mob-like breakout groups discussing anything from pitching to hitting to mental toughness. The hunger to learn permeates both head and assistant coaches, and goes through all divisions of play, from Division I through high school and travel ball. Seeing a first-year assistant coach that’s as hungry to learn as a veteran D1 coach is truly inspiring!
Take-Away: We are ALL responsible to our players to improve ourselves and our knowledge, so we must take advantage of every opportunity possible to do so! Learn whenever you can.
- Willing to Share – In order to learn, somebody has to be teaching and there’s no shortage of coaches willing to give of their time and knowledge to share during this convention. None of us ever have enough time to do all the things it seems our life demands from us, so when high profile coaches find the time to come early, or stay after the NFCA convention and teach a class, it’s truly amazing.
But what tops all of that on my amazement scale is how willing all of these coaches are to share ALL of their knowledge. They aren’t just sharing the safe and weak stuff; they’re sharing the nuts and bolts, the so called “secrets” with anyone and everyone – including their competitors who are likely in the room or on the same coaching panel. Sharing is how we all get better, and the truly great coaches know that for their team to improve; their competition must improve as well.
Take-Away: Knowledge grows the most when it’s shared. The more you share what you know the more you’ll end up knowing.
- The Future Looks BRIGHT! – I’m blown away by the incredible enthusiasm of the younger coaches in our game! Whether it’s the new head coaches or the younger assistant coaches – it didn’t matter – they attended EVERYTHING and listened like their lives depended on it! These young coaches soaked up knowledge wherever they could find it, and they took every opportunity to say “thank you” to whomever they felt had gone before them. I saw passion and energy and enthusiasm and hunger whenever I looked at one of the younger coaches at the convention. The cool thing about sponges is that they fill up – and these young coaches are doing just that, and it was a pleasure to be around them for 5 days!!
Take-Away: Your age might determine your experience but not your enthusiasm, willingness or hunger! Our game is in GREAT hands!!
- Friends for Life – There’s no doubt that my FAVORITE part of this event is seeing friends I’ve known for 30 years and meeting people who share a passion for coaching softball! We are all simply parts of the softball food chain – some of us further down the chain than others – but that doesn’t make any of us more or less important. We appreciate each other’s passion and effort and it shows in how happy we are being around each other! Attending this convention really is one of my happiest times of the year!
Take-Away: Friendships don’t always require time, but they do require care and consistency. Take care of your friendships!
We are running a very special promotion! In honor of the great attitude of sharing that I witnessed by so many tremendous coaches this past week at the NFCA convention – we are offering our NFCA Special Show Price for our VAULT PLUS Membership for a limited time!*
Regularly $249 – now only $175!!* Use Promo Code: nfcavpEnjoy our Ultimate membership package:
- $1,200 Value for Only $175
- Over 500 Pages of downloadable notes, charts & practice plans
- Over 21 hours of online instruction
- Immediate Access to New Online Content
*Offer expires 12/14/2015