There is a fine line between being a smartass and a dumbass! I have come to learn this first hand over a very long and colorful coaching career. What does this realization have to do with fastpitch softball?


Coaches, you all know there are two types of experience:


Inexpensive experience is the experience that you gain from observing another person’s mistakes. You learn from seeing other people make errors.


Expensive experience is the experience that you gain from making mistakes yourself, You screw up and learn from the consequences.


Most people gain almost all their life experience from the mistakes they make. Think about it for a second, there are dozens of things that your parents tell you not to do but you try it anyway. You touch the stove even though your parents told you it would burn. Come on, admit it, you know you did!


So here is some inexpensive experience for you:


The modern player doesn’t respond to sarcasm. They don’t respond to scare tactics. They don’t respond to challenges. They don’t respond to almost all the things we were exposed to as athletes a generation or two ago. 


Jimmy Dugan, while declaring that “there’s no crying in baseball”, tells Evelyn that his manager “called him a talking pile of pig $#!?”. Well, I was never called pig excrement but I was coached with all the tools listed above.


We teach as we were taught! Which translates into we coach as we were coached. Give that some thought next time you head to the field!


About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.