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I coach at a very good softball school that has put a lot of championship banners on the wall and have been to the State Championships 3 times in the last 6 years. This is the first year we have lost a sectional championship in 9 years – any advice?

I agree that they all need to understand that those banners were earned – earned with competitiveness, dedication, and intensity – not just by showing up. So I’d ask them, what are they bringing to the tradition of the softball program, other than just showing up? If I were you I’d do some of the competitive games listed in my Team Chemistry book. I even had to do those with my pro team and they had a lot more talent, experience and desire than your high school kids – it’s sometimes a female thing not to distance yourself from the group by your talent or your desire…so the whole group just limps along at average. They need to know that they aren’t playing to live up to the past every time they field a ground ball or swing at a pitch. What the past teams at their school have done is great and should help serve as their Superman capes. It should give them confidence and strength instead of creating pressure. Help them create their own wins.