Most of you know I am a high school softball coach. I also get the privilege of coaching my daughter, our starting shortstop. There are many opportunities for me to not only teach skills and techniques about the sport but also about life beyond the softball diamond. I decided to share snippets from my pep talks. Even though these are examples for softball, I believe these pep talks can be applied to all areas of life.
Even the Coach Needs Pep Talks
As I prepared for each practice or game talk, I always whispered these two statements to myself:
- “Lead with joy, and you can’t go wrong.”
- “You picked twelve outsiders nobody would’ve chosen, and you changed the world. Well, the moral of the story is everybody’s got a purpose.” —Casting Crowns
Quit Looking for Easy
Challenge yourself each and every practice. Get better. This is not a “have to be here” sport—this is a “get to be here” sport. It’s a privilege to play for your high school. It’s a privilege to play the sport you love. Don’t look for easy. I cannot remember anyone ever telling me that they were glad it was an easy road. Get after it. Get better.
Preparation Is Key
Knowing your roles are important. Every role is important every single day—even throughout practice. Being a great practice partner is a role for everyone. Your partner benefits from being challenged. You benefit from being challenged. You should never walk away at the end of practice and think “I had a perfect practice.” Challenge yourself, challenge your partner. Preparation is key to building glowing confidence.
Be Humble & Patient
Keep moving forward, and know that all this hard work you’re putting in will produce results. We just don’t know when we’ll enjoy the results. We need to work hard and never settle. Be patient as we focus on the micro goals. Also, remember there is noise all around us about rankings, records, etc. How are you going to respond to the noise? Be humble when teachers, parents and families congratulate you on a great game, but never settle. We are going to keep moving forward. Focus on what’s important: preparing for the next game.
You Can Only Control Two Things
Your effort and your attitude. Both of these show what is in your heart. Play for a purpose greater than you—maybe it’s the person to the left of you on the field or the person to your right. Just know you do not play this game to advance yourself personally. You play it because you love it. I challenge you to play for someone else.
Know Where You Are
Your head needs to be where your feet are. You can’t be thinking about the next out, the last pitch or the error you made in the second inning. You must be present. The key is to be here and now for every moment. You must take care of business and not take anyone for granted. Be here every pitch. Be in the box every at-bat. Be in the moment every time you run on and off the field. Be here when people are talking to you. Trust yourself and this will all turn out okay.
Work Through Negative Thoughts
We all have bad innings, bad at-bats and bad games. But how do you respond? Do you let negative thoughts fester? Do you put those inopportune plays on repeat in your mind? I need each of you to respond with positive thoughts. Figure out how to think those positive thoughts. For me, I talk to my mom in heaven. It just takes one swing, one diving catch, one tag on a runner stealing a base to change the momentum of your game. We need to wire our brains to listen to positive thoughts. Challenge yourself to let go of negative thoughts, and focus on what will go well.
When you need a little motivation or a little encouragement, my hope is you can take one of these snippets and find inspiration.
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.