I wrote this four years ago and wanted to revisit it because my heart is overflowing with all of these lessons for my daughters as we are in the thick of the softball season.

From Players to Coaches

One of you is a senior who is wearing her softball jersey for the last high school season, and the other is coaching your first ever high school team. Someday you may be sharing these exact words.

I know you both love softball and you both have been playing since you were eight years old. I want you to know there is no doubt in my mind that someday you will miss this. You will miss playing in the dirt, smelling the grass and throwing a runner out trying to steal. You will miss your teammates and coaches. You will wish you could take one more swing of the bat or slide into home again, but for now, take a deep breath and soak up every minute you are blessed to play and coach the game you love.

I am not sure if you girls notice, but I get butterflies for both of you. I believe you two have what it takes to own the moment. I love watching you play and coach.

Lesson 1: Control Two Things

You can only control your attitude and effort. Play with heart, but try hard to not let your emotions get the best of you. Move onto the next play. Your attitude is a reflection of your heart. Also, you may not be the most talented on the field, but there is no excuse for someone working harder than you. Through your dedication and hours of practice, amazing things will happen—just keep working. Never let your work ethic be less than your best. Love the game.

Lesson 2: Learn From Wins & Losses

Both are going to happen, and both provide opportunities to grow not only as a player, but also as a team. Every team has a “this is the greatest moment,” just like every team and player faces adversity. Without those greatest moments and adversities there isn’t a meaningful story to tell.

Lesson 3: Don’t Hang Your Head After Mistakes

I know this is tough. Life is full of strikeouts and overthrows, but these give us opportunities to learn. Just like the wins and the losses, there is a great deal that can be learned through mistakes. Challenge yourself and your team to have a growth mindset by refocusing your mind to become 1% better everyday.

Lesson 4: Trust Your Coaches

Know your coaches want you and your entire team to reach the fullest potential. We have to make a decision to set the team up for success. Those decisions can lead to successes and failures. However, you have to know your coaches care about you. Your coaches put the hours into learning the game, just like you, and they are passionate about the game just like you. Believe in them, trust them, respect them and thank them. They love the game just like you.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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