pciture of Stacie Mahoe

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    *Mom of 7 Active Kids

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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

One reason why you may not get the results you want

by Stacie ~ July 9th, 2014.
Filed under: Coach Softball, Softball Tips, Stacie's Thoughts, Youth Softball | No Comments » |
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The other day I asked my daughter, 14, to take some things out of the fridge to give to the dog because they’d been in there a while and, while we may not want to eat them, they make perfectly good dog food (yes, we feed our dog a raw diet, but that’s another story).

One thing I asked her to throw out was a TRAY of chicken (but I just said “the chicken”).

I assumed she’d know which chicken I was talking about because this tray was the only chicken in the fridge…well, aside from the BRAND NEW WHOLE CHICKEN I just bought from the store that day. SHE put that whole chicken away when came home from the store. In fact, she asked whether she should put it in the freezer or the fridge. So I know, that she knew , that I just bought that chicken. I assumed she’d know that brand new chicken was NOT the one I wanted to give to the dog.

Wellllll, aside from my assumption (we both know what happens when you “assume” things right?), add to it the fact that, for some reason, I was annoyed when giving her the instructions. Just a couple days later and I can’t even remember why I was annoyed, I just remember feeling very little patience in that moment.

Instead of staying calm and patiently explaining exactly what I wanted, I was rather short and, apparently, not very specific, in my request with her. This, in turn, made her feel irritated with the task. Her irritation, coupled with the lack of clarity in my instructions due to my annoyance and lack of patience, resulted in the WRONG CHICKEN being thrown out!

The WHOLE CHICKEN I just bought, was given to the dog.  Imagine how I felt when I went to start dinner the next night only to discover the chicken I planned on cooking was no where to be found.  At least the dog got a great dinner out of it.

Lesson learned: no matter how frustrated you feel, do your best to stay calm and patient when dealing with kids. Getting annoyed and acting annoyed only annoys, frustrates, and irritates them. Then things don’t get done well which only creates more annoyance (and less dinner, in some cases). That’s just way to much annoyance, and far less productivity, for me and for you and for them.

Let’s not go there ;)


Sooooooo, QUESTIONS for you…

What kind of tone do you set for your team? What kind of environment do you foster? Is it one that stems from frustration and annoyance? Or do you cultivate a nurturing environment so players, not only grow, but thrive?

Of course, if you’re trying to work the mental game and you purposefully try to cause frustration while your team focuses on performing well anyway, that’s a little different.

But in general, what do you do?

The intentions behind your words are powerful. Makes sure you speak from the right place ;)

The intentions behind your words are powerful
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Take your cleats to the street

The right way to handle praise and criticism

by Stacie ~ July 3rd, 2014.
Filed under: Coach Softball, Stacie's Thoughts | No Comments » |
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

Yes, I have a problem with credit seeking coaches who constantly want people to give THEM “credit where credit is due,” but don’t accept any of the blame when things go badly.

You want “responsibility” for your athletes, take it ALL, not just the parts that make you look good.

Better yet, do what Proactive Coaching suggests and coach with strength and humility.

Coaching is not about who gets the credit.

Coaching is about serving your athletes the best you can while always striving to do better FOR THEM.

Here is the original Facebook post that sparked my comments on this topic again. You can grab the 7 Ways to Lead your Team booklet at ProactiveCoaching.info

proactive coaching, how to lead

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Take your cleats to the street