pciture of Stacie Mahoe

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Why you need to aim higher than “the best” on your team

by Stacie ~ July 29th, 2014.
Filed under: Softball Tips, Softball Training, Stacie's Thoughts | No Comments » |
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I shared this thought with my 14yo daughter the other night. I let her know I was happy she out works and out trains a lot of her teammates, BUT…

I encouraged her to not get complacent with that, to aim higher.

After all, in competition, the only people it matters to “outdo” are your opponents!

Out working your teammates is great, but you’re not fighting against them in competition.

I’m happy to say, she understood exactly what I was taking about :)

The same is true for performance. It’s awesome if you’re the best on your team or in your league or even in your conference or state. However, even if you’re the best in your state, there are 49 others out there who claim that same title!

What separates you from THEM?

Even after you become the best of the best, can you stay there?

How many athletes or teams do you know have one great year or maybe a couple of great years, then disappear?

Not that a moment of greatness isn’t enough, but if you’re looking to reach your FULL potential, you must realize that the hard work never ends, that the better you become, the more focused and driven you just be. There never comes a point where you’re so good, you can stop working and get the same results or better. No matter how great you get, you only get out of it what you put in. That effort is always your choice.

There’s nothing wrong with reaching a point where you’re ready to back down, just as Michael Phelps did for the 2012 Olympics. He wanted more of a life outside of swimming. He backed down on his training. He understood this decision may affect is medal winnings in the Olympics. It did. He won a couple Silver Medals instead of all Golds. He was okay with that. He understood that you only get out what you put in, and that he wanted more in other areas of life. He made a conscious choice and made “deposits of success” in other areas and accepted the impact that made on his swimming.

The same is true for you. It’s okay if you reach a point where you feel the need to adjust your priorities in softball, or in life, just realize it affects your results. Only you can decide what you really want out of your softball experiences and your life, no one else. That choice is always yours as well.


Take your cleats to the street

The Power of Your Presence as a Pitcher

by Stacie ~ July 22nd, 2014.
Filed under: Softball Pitching | 1 Comment » |
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Today on Facebook, I saw a post by Amanda Scarborough. Her words about a pitcher presences in the circle are spot on!

I remember, years ago, seeing a young pitcher on a very new team. She played for a high school that JUST started their softball program. She wasn’t spectacular pitching wise. She did enough to keep her team in the game and stop any “big shots” from hurting her team. In short, she did a decent job as a pitcher. She was pitching outs.

The only problem? Her team made error after error after error around her.

Still, her demeanor, how she carried herself, how she pitched NEVER changed. Not ONE bit.

I was SO impressed by this young lady! She was a freshman on a varsity team, pitching against one of the best teams in the state and, while not flashy as a pitcher, she impressed the heck out of me. I never saw her pitch again, but I still remember her almost a decade later.

How many pitching performances do you say that about?

To add to this, here is what Amanda had to say about this topic…


In case the post doesn’t show up properly above or is slow to load, here is what it said…

“Body language. Demeanor. Emotions. These are the things you show when you set foot on the field and the things that speak louder than how good your rise ball or your change up are. These are things that your teammates AND the opposing team pick up on – for better or for worse.

There are different ways you represent your Pitcher’s Presence. Talk through your eyes and through your body language to show your team your confidence! You are a leader and your team is relying on you! They feed off of you!

Your body language should be the same whether you walk 3 people in a row OR whether you struck out 3 people in a row. It DOES NOT change according to the outcome of a pitch or the outcome of a game! YOU control your body language and your presence. It’s yours. It defines you as a player.

Every pitch have confidence for you control the feel and the tempo of the game.”

- Amanda Scarborough

Take your cleats to the street

How to get better faster, for free

by Stacie ~ July 15th, 2014.
Filed under: Softball Tips, Stacie's Thoughts | No Comments » |
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Have you seen those posts on social media?  Or maybe you’ve seen stories on the news or gotten ” professional advice” from your doctor about bad “screens” are?  Various sources rant about how people nowadays “always” have their nose buried in their electronics, “never” talk to each other face to face anymore, and make you feel guilty for how life is passing you by while you sit staring at your phone or tablet.

Well, I’m not one who buys into a lot of hype and I feel like that’s what a lot of this is.  After all, screens are not the only thing humans have ever had their nose buried in.

Take the picture below for example, time and people and things and life is passing these people by while they stare at a piece of paper.  Not only are these people not talking as they sit right next to each other, they probably didn’t communicate much at all by any other means either.

Today, however, we can have our face buried in our mobile devices AND still communicate with each other.

Why do we often choose to only see or focus on the negative?

stop blaming the THING
I know I learn more, communicate more, interact more, and get news more with modern technology than we would without it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  I’m also able to connect with and get support from others with similar interests, challenges, views, etc like never before.

Let’s face it, if it weren’t for today’s technology, you wouldn’t be reading this article.  There’s no way I ‘d go traveling around to spread my ideas in person via speeches or other face to face means (I don’t really care to be up in front of people lol).  There’s no way I’d spend hours upon hours writing up thoughts to share in hopes that some of it gets published in a magazine or other periodical.  Today’s technology enables me to share thoughts and ideas with you quickly, easily , and for very little cost.  On top of that, I probably reach more people than if all I had were “old fashioned” means of communication available to me.

In any case, we tend to blame “things” (like new technology, which usually isn’t “good” or “bad” in and of itself) for unwanted behaviors/results that really aren’t the “thing’s” fault.

We blame money for people’s greed.  We blame social media for “drama.”  Some blame “competition” for cheating and so on and so forth.  How are you going to fix the actual problem if you keep placing blame on something that is “value neutral” (meaning that thing is neither good or bad until you choose to use it in a good way or in a harmful way)?

I remember not too long ago, people got criticized for having their noses buried in books all the time. Now people wish kids would read books more instead of play on their iThings. Screens are not as passive or “mindless” as they used to be. I’m sure the next generation will wish their kids would spend more time learning and communicating on their iThings instead of spending countless hours on whatever the next “thing” is.

Throughout history the “latest technology” has been blamed for the eventual “downfall” of society.  Many inventions of the past have been feared the way “screens” are today…

  • Johannes Trithemeus lamented that the advent of the printing press would make monks lazy, damning them to hell. It would also apparently make people stupid because the only way to understand words was to write them out yourself.
  • In 1950 educators railed against the invention of the ballpoint pen because it would ruin education, lead to spendthriftiness, and cause ruinous waste and financial excess.
  • The pencil was apparently going to lead to carelessness and the end of permanent memory in humanity.
  • Telephones would turn our brains to jelly.

Nearly every advance in communication media has been met with long campaigns of controversy. Many of the complaints we hear now about “screens” are just revamps of old criticisms of other inventions.

Many of those old criticisms even had “scientific research” to back them up just like today’s arguments against too much screen time.

In other words, even if you remove the “thing” you think is “bad” something else is likely to take it’s place because it’s not the “thing” (or lack of it) that’s the problem.  The problem lies in how you use or perceive that thing.  

The cool thing is YOU control that and can CHANGE it for the better right now.  Like anything else, how you choose to use anything in your life is YOUR choice.  Work on making better (notice I didn’t say perfect) choices and you transform the way any “thing” impacts your life.

Sooooo, QUESTIONS for you…

Where are you doing this in your life or in your softball?
Where are you blaming the “thing” instead of attacking the root of the problem?
Where do you find yourself saying things like…

  • If only we had a better practice/training area/facility…
  • If only my daughter’s coach was…
  • If only I had a better bat…
  • If only I could go to better exposure tournaments/events…
  • If only there were more quality instructors in my area…

How can you change your perspective to improve your results? How can you tweak your mindset or your current outlook and improve despite “things” or “distractions” or “challenges” around you?

How can you better use what you have to improve your game/your life?

Focus more on making the most of what you DO have vs spending time and energy wishing for what you don’t.  Complaining or wishing for magic bullets that fix your problems for you doesn’t work.  Use your time and energy focusing on solutions.  Get creative.  Change your mindset, change your perspective so it helps you move forward instead of holding you back.  Change what you focus on so you use what you have in the most productive ways instead of in unproductive ways.

This doesn’t cost you anything and it can produce better results starting TODAY!

Photo link: http://www.raafatrola.com/why-only-smartphones-are-blamed-for-people-not-talking-to-each-other/

Take your cleats to the street