Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It’s the really small, small things in life that make a really big difference, and sometimes you don’t notice them until you start bawling your eyes out.
For those of you that don’t know I am the head softball coach at Philomath H.S. and I have the best team and coaching staff anyone could have. We believe that coaching and playing isn’t just about the game of softball but more about our reactions to things in life and how we conduct ourselves in them. I preach a lot about the stuff you have control over, versus the stuff you don’t, and if you don’t have control; control what you can.
An example of this would be (for those of you that need one) is when a short stop throws a ball away. She lost control of the one thing she had complete and total control over – the throw. You don’t have the luxury of controlling the bounce of the ball, how it comes off the bat, the conditions of the field, or the players around you; just you. The ball may shank, hit you somewhere you don’t like, hurt a little, but it is what you do with those obstacles in the game that make you a better player. Take control of those things at all possible times, and let go of the things you can’t – stop placing blame on your reactions. A couple of my favorites, “Well the ball was wet and that is why it went like that,” or “the pitcher was in the way and I didn’t want to hit her.” My reaction every time is, “Why did you throw it?” The blaming doesn’t make your bad choice better, just masks it.
Enough of my little lesson about sports and life, here is the heart of it, the small things and the reason for my novel. I am driving back to work, and had just met with the plastic surgeon, so many things are spinning through my mind and my phone dings with a new text. It is from one of my players, and I know by now most of them should know so I thought it was just another short sweet - I heard, I’m sorry, take care, kind of thing. No it was more, it said, “Hi coach, I just wanted to tell you that I’m praying for you and I hope that you are doing okay. And if anyone can beat it, it’s you :)” And I tear up and laugh all at the same time, can’t help it.
I write her back and let her know I appreciate her prayers and am trying to stomp out all the negative thoughts (something else we say a lot of on the field to prevent the ‘I can’t(s)’ from creeping in, and replacing them with ‘I can’). She writes back and without missing a beat says, “Just like Central, go get em!” Now I know that means very little to an outsider of our playing field, but to me it means a great deal. You see, Central is the team everyone is scared of, the team to beat, they wear red, or, “Coach, it’s Central!” Always my answer, “So what.” It's still softball - so control the things you can. I sobbed.
As a coach you take some ownership of your players and what kind of individuals they are and become, so when a player reminds you of your own words about challenges and obstacles, you can’t help but feel a little bit proud of what you taught, but also a little enlightenment into your own soul – am I practicing what I preach? And will I continue to? I have now become a role model and what will I do with my own obstacles?
I have control of me, just relax, breath, no one controls me, but me….. I have control of me……