With everything there is to know about softball, figuring out what to teach your team or what to work on throughout the course of a season can be a daunting task. After all, many coaches are still learning even after decades in this game! But you don’t have decades with your team. You have months, if you’re lucky, maybe a few years. So how do you decide what to work on with your team?
Here’s a very simple, yet highly effective tip I learned that’s helped me, not only in coaching, but in other areas of life too!
The trick to figuring out what to work on with your team involves deciding what your NEXT step is. Notice I didn’t say stepS. I said steP, no “S” at the end.
Figure out what your very next step is and do that. All progress is made one step at a time, so stop trying to take 20! Have you ever felt like you’re trying everything in the book, but you are really getting results? You’re spinning your wheels going no where. Or you have no clue what path to take so you just kind of sit there looking at your options, not moving anywhere. If any of that sounds familiar, it’s time to SIMPLIFY. Take ONE step at a time.
But, how do you know where to take that step? How do you know what your next step should be?
Simple. Think about what will give you the BIGGEST positive impact in the shortest amount of time. Then focus on implementing that and addressing that.
Stop doing what you think you “should” do. Stop doing what others told you you’re supposed to do. Stop doing what everyone else is doing.
- Take a good hard look at your team.
- Jot down areas that absolutely MUST improve.
- Identify which ONE thing will give you the GREATEST results in the SHORTEST amount of time.
- Dedicate your energy, time, and effort into making that ONE change right now.
You’ve heard that problem solving scenario before right? The one where you walk into your bathroom to find it flooded. The water in the tub is running, the drain is plugged, and water is overflowing from the tub onto the floor.
What do you address first?
Well, obviously you turn off the water first. That’s the step that will give you the biggest positive benefit in the shortest amount of time. It would do you no good, whatsoever, to begin mopping up the flooded floors first while the water’s stil running. Right?
Use this same idea with your team.
Take a look at your team and assess the situation. What is the ONE step you can take right now that would improve the situation most in the least amount of time?
What’s your running faucet right now?
Find it and shut it off.
BONUS: Use This Concept to Learn More Effectively
This concept is essential when making decisions during your season, but it’s also highly useful when learning new things as a softball coach.
How? Well, often times coaches go to clinics, seminars, training courses, and learn all kinds of cool new tips and tricks, but most end up going back to their team only to continue doing the exact same things they did before.
They don’t actually USE anything they learned.
What’s the use of that?
Why go, spend your time, energy and your money on great raining, then never use it?
Obviously you don’t do that on purpose. That would be crazy. But it’s very easy to fall victim to information overload. It’s easy to get utterly overwhelmed by mountains of amazing information that you just don’t know where to start…so you don’t.ever.start. Lose money!
I don’t want this to happen to you.
Right now, I’m creating a whole bundle of coaching resources designed to help you get off to a good start this season. It’s full of all kinds of useable coaching information and the last thing I want for you to grab it, then get paralyzed by information overload.
I will admit it’s happened to me before. I thoroughly enjoy reading, watching videos, and listening to seminars, but at some point all of that is useless if I don’t actually use it.
So what I do now is learn in spurts, bit by bit. I no longer go through an entire book, e-book, training course, or video all at once. I stick with it until 2-3 really great concepts jump out at me, then I stop.
I stop reading, I stop watching, I stop learning, and I save the rest for later. I take the few things that jumped out at me, choose ONE and implement it right away.
I don’t go back to learn more until I’m comfortable with the change I made and I’m ready to do the NEXT thing.
So that’s what I want you to remember when my new coaching resources are ready. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t go through it all in one sitting. In fact, it’s probably much better if you don’t!
Use the simple, yet highly effective “determine your next step” concept and apply it this season, whether you grab my coaching resources and are learning something new or you’re simply making important coaching decisions this season.
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.