Just because you don’t have the strongest arm, the farthest hits, or the smoothest glove doesn’t mean you can’t help your team or stand out in some way. In fact, I believe EACH player can lead their team in something!
You may not lead the team in a softball skill, but here are 5 UNsoftball ways you can impress your coach and increase your value as a player.
1. Show up on time – As simple as this seems, not every player does it. Be the player that shows up on time every time and never brings rushed panic-y feeling to the field. This puts you in a better mindset than a player who always shows up last minute and also shows your coach and teammates playing softball and your team are important enough to you to be prompt! Coaches like that 🙂
2. Offer to help – Due to the nature of our game there are lots of different ways you can help at the field that have nothing to do with your ability to hit, run, or throw.
- set up, carry, or put away equipment
- field/practice setup
- field care
- dugout cleanliness and organization
- tracking your opponent (hits, pitching tendencies, etc)
- retrieving foul balls during a game
- etc, etc, etc
3. Hustle – Nothing shows how much you want to be at the field and be a part of your team like hustle. Hustle saves time. It looks sharp. Hustle “says” you’re ready and willing to give your best!
4. Encourage/help others around you – Things won’t always go smoothly. One characteristic of championship teams and championship players include staying positive and focusing on the next play even when things don’t go right. No matter how much or how little you play, you can help your team stay positive and focused by what you say, what you do, and how you carry yourself.
5. Take responsibility – Do the things you know you should do. Don’t wait for your coach or your mom or a teammate to “make you” do it. You know you should hustle, so hustle. You know you should show up early to the field so you can properly gear up and get ready, so show up early. You know you should pay attention when coach talks, so pay attention. Take responsibility for your own attitude and your own effort. Don’t wait for someone else to hold you accountable for things you know you should do. Hold yourself accountable. Do them. every. day…whether or not anyone pays attention or sees what you do.
Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.