Lessons of A Coach in Quarantine

1. The adage, “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason” stands true. I’m working hard to be a good listener while also leading the way with my voice.

2. The malaise of the unknown is a real thing. “What’s going to happen next?” makes doing the next thing challenging

3. Making time is still a challenge, even when you have nothing but time! Habits still matter.

4. Change is hard. ” Oh, here’s some good news, I’ll learn to _____ (paint, build furniture, garden, pitch, be a runner),” is way easier said than done.

5. Fear is powerful. Incentives to not change are often strong.

6. Poor leadership is just as powerful as good leadership. #showingup takes guts and a willingness to fail and be criticized.

College

Many athletes think about and plan for their four years in College. It’s scripted in our minds and we can see the good times, the wins, the classes, the friends the bus rides…

We know that it might not turn out exactly as we envision it, but it’s likely to be great. We’ll start, be healthy, maybe even make all-star teams and win championships.

Get strong, get sleep, be ready. It’s gonna be great.

Ok, have a plan B, too.

Enjoy.

Rule #31

This one is a rule that’s being broken in our current times. The era of COVID-19 is providing rare situations for certain.

The exceptions don’t make the rule invalid, however. Most things are not unique; even large scale pandemics have happened and we might learn from those instances. For sure we can learn from our personal, more day-to-day happenings.

When challenges present themselves look for examples of previous similar happenings and see what you can learn from those.

Most things are not rare.

Rule #29

Providing clear standards and expectations is a gift that coaches can offer. The comfort that comes from knowing what’s likely to happen, and what will happen after that, is real.

An important part of well defined standards is “what it doesn’t look like”.

If the downside outcome is achieved the real or imagined booooo you hear is the same voice that says, “I know you’ve got this!”.

Get back after it knowing your people are in your corner and will be behind you no matter what.

Rule #25

The rules are back.

After a few weeks of watching people break rules, written and unwritten, those of decency and respect as well as the legal system, we’re back with the Williams Softball culture of rules.

This one is obvious. All you can do is prepare for the next pitch, work to improve your pitch and support your people and process.

Rule #22

This one is a fan favorite.

Something so often said, “you just need to work a little harder” and you’ll get what you want or reach your goals.

Likely you said this to yourself before.

It sounds so simple, like a done deal.

Work is often a part of the solution, but working harder we know is not always the answer.

How can you ask yourself some questions that might allow you to see things from a different angle? How can you take your foot off the gas and maybe make things flow more smoothly?

Rule #21

By definition.

Be specific with your language. Know what you mean and be clear.

The shorter the hops the easier it is.

That doesn’t mean every ball can be a short hop play. Feel the pace, allow your brain to work and be smooth.

Find a wall or a partner and practice.

Rule #20

Some do, but most plays don’t require a second throw to get an out.

Good communication, a good understanding of the situation and a strong arm often will get you where you need to go.

However, planning and practicing for all possibilities is the work of a great player and team.

And more importantly, that strong play won’t be perfect every time and you’ll be glad that relay player was at the ready.

Expect the best, plan for the worst. Or something like that.