When you ask a young player why they play the game, they usually say something along the lines of:
“Because its fun!”. Fun is one of the most basic reasons for anyone to venture into almost any activity.
So what’s the point you ask?
As coaches, we face a very daunting task. Fastpitch softball is a game that is loaded with opportunities for fun. But when you think about it, do you coach so your players can have fun or for some other reason?
I was always happy when my players had fun, but the reality was that the “fun” was qualified. I think coaches think about the idea of fun in a much different light than the players we coach. And I would venture to guess that the younger the player the greater the difference in how we perceive fun.
My conclusion is a simple one:
Players play to have fun. Coaches coach because they want their players to feel a sense of satisfaction.
What’s the distinction?
Fun is usually a short-term thing. Something funny happens, or something exciting happens and it is a lot of fun but it is usually short-lived. They laugh, giggle, smile and for some time will relive the fun.
It’s great, but it doesn’t last.
Satisfaction is long-term. You feel a great sense of pride because you accomplished something that not everyone can accomplish. You can look back many years later and still feel a very strong emotional tie to what you did. It lasts.
You can have fun while working towards something that is satisfying, no doubt. But if having fun is your highest priority then I doubt you are likely to accomplish too many things that are truly satisfying! You will have some fond memories but I don’t think you will have the same long term sense of accomplishment.
Fun is FUNdamental but satisfaction lasts a lifetime.
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.
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?