Not too long ago I shared an item on Facebook that stated, “Your Coach Is Crazy.”
The message was not another attempt at bashing a coach of some team at some level but rather was a message of thanks for all that coaches do for their players and teams. It was a little reminder that people who choose to coach are often giving up a great deal to allow themselves to give their time and efforts to their teams.
The moral of the article was that we all coach for the moment when a player realizes they can, in fact do something that they thought impossible. The “lightbulb” moment when you see the twinkle of satisfaction and accomplishment in their eyes. When they “get it!”
There is no doubt that these memories are big part of why I wanted to coach. I was the coach that never really cared about games. I found my greatest satisfaction in practice where you could see that “lightbulb” come on.
Now some of those “lightbulb” moments were strictly softball related, while many others were much more tied to real life and more meaningful accomplishments. Others yet, were hybrids! They were the special times when the two came together to help a player accomplish something great.
Once you accomplish something amazing you gain confidence in your ability to do it again! If you want to be amazing you have to practice amazing, you have to believe in amazing and you have to be willing to take the risk to be amazing! And amazing in anything makes you hungry for amazing in everything!
What it all leads to are moments like these:
When you see a player truly struggle in the classroom as a freshman, to the point that you are more worried about them flunking out, walk across the stage with her diploma in hand.
When you see a player struggle with personal demons, to the point that you worry about their health and well being, graduate and become someone who is making a difference in the world
When a player comes up to you and tells you how proud she is to have made the varsity team and that she knows your work helped make that dream come true
When you get a video clip, Facebook post, tweet or text from a parent saying thanks for helping their kid accomplish something amazing.
These are all proud coach moments!
We’re crazy, of course, like a fox!
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.