Happy Birthday to the Softball Excellence Insider Newsletter – this is our 300th Issue!
Writing 300 issues has taught me a lot. Discover what it can teach you.
300 of anything is a lot. When you’re talking 300 issues of our Softball Excellence Insider newsletter, it means over 600 articles, written every-other-Tuesday for over 10 years. With two articles in every issue I’ve had to have very distinct points of view on a regular basis for a very long time.
Over the years, I’ve written articles on everything from softball skills, to hurricanes to barnacles & battleships to advice from my Mom. I have always tried to help coaches through my observations and experiences, keeping in mind that everybody’s busy.
I typically don’t look back on articles I’ve written focusing instead on topics for the next issue. But knowing that Issue #300 was a huge milestone I did some research. First of all, our Softball Excellence Newsletter is older than any of the following very famous companies:
- Uber – 2009
- Twitter – 2006
- Facebook – 2004
- Snapchat – 2011
We’re even older than the iPhone – which was created in 2007.
600 articles forces you to be creative, so it’s probably no wonder that I’ve written articles on animals (Are You Teaching the Whole Elephant, How a Jungle Tiger can Make Your Practices Better) as well as weather (4 Teamwork Lessons from Snow, 6 Preparation Lessons from Hurricane Irma).
But most importantly, I’ve come away with some very powerful and important lessons that allowed me to start off as a coach who loved to teach and observe, and transform into a teacher who coaches and now loves to write.
So here’s my list of things I’ve learned over the years that have allowed me to come into your Inbox every other Tuesday for the last 300 Issues:
- Show Up – Whether I felt like writing, or had anything to say, I had to produce a 2-article newsletter every other Tuesday. I had to show up every week and produce intelligent, relevant articles when I often times had nothing really relevant to say. Tough. I had to do it any way. Knowing I couldn’t get out of it forced me to show up. And, since over 30,000 people were reading it, I have always tried to do my best.
- Have a Point of View – If I’m going to put my name on something then I want to do my best and have a point of view. I don’t need people to agree with me, but I do need to make coaches think, consider why they do things, and look deeper at what they know. At times, it’s been scary hitting the “send” button knowing that some of the top coaches in the country were reading my articles, but I had to have the courage to write them, and send them anyway. This has really helped my overall confidence as well as helping me more clearly define my thoughts and points of view.
- People’s Time Matters – Which means I’ve had to make my point clearly and concisely. As my writing skill improved, and people started reading the newsletter on their mobile devices, I’ve gotten much better at more quickly making my point. I’ve definitely gotten the Bristow talking gene, so through the years I’ve had to remind myself that I’m writing articles and not books. I know when I read things I like them to be compelling, and to the point – so I’ve tried my best to value peoples time by doing that myself.
- Help People Get Better – This was by far, the main reason we started the newsletter at Softball Excellence. We wanted to help coaches get better. More than anything, I’m an educator so the newsletter has allowed me a forum to share cool things I’ve learned through the years and cool discoveries I’ve made. Some articles were actually softball skill specific, while others were strategy or people-centered, but ALL of them have had a common purpose which has always been to help people get better.
- Be Myself – 600+ articles later and I still don’t consider myself a writer. I’m much more an observer and a teacherwho happens to write. What I’ve tried to always do is to write my point as if I was talking it. I feel it’s super important to be authentic and to be me. That means I must write like I talk, I must be myself in all of my articles which means I must be vulnerable, open, funny and kind. While I don’t like conflict, I do think it’s important to be honest – so there have been articles where I’ve been very honest with you, while never really sure what your response would be. I’ve found that every time that I’ve been myself, the response has always been positive. I believe we should help our kids and our players be themselve by showing them it’s ok to be our true selves. At first, it can be scary, but trust me, 600 articles later it’ll seem like the only way to be!
- It Takes a Village – And finally, nobody does something this significant alone. Robin and Karen have turned my typo-plagued ramblings into an internet-worthy final product for years. And, without all 30,000+ of you reading this newsletter every other week, we would never have gotten to our 300th issue! So thank you – each and every one of you!!
If you’re looking for past articles, or articles I might have written on certain topics know that we archive all the past articles on The Dugout page of our website. If you’re looking for a particular topic you can search there on the left hand side.
Finally, don’t miss out on our 300th Issue SE Insider Special Discount! For the next 3 days we are offering 30% off ALL of our eLearning Products (Vault Classic, Pitching Summit Vault, Hitting Summit Vault, Combo Summit Vault, Drills, Clinics, Practices, Certifications, eBooks and so much more!). Be sure to use the promo code: 300!