Having the opportunity to see the Women’s College World Series was an amazing experience. It was also a great opportunity to learn a great deal. Some of what I learned was fun to see, some of what I learned was troubling to me and some of what I learned was very enlightening to say the least.
I saw several things that made a huge impression on me especially since this is the biggest of big stages. Now, I understand that all these coaches know they are on ESPN and cameras are trained on their every move, which might change their demeanor to some degree. But there were some big things that really stood out.
Body Language: All the coaches controlled theirs. I didn’t see a single back turn or are wave or bend over at the waist in exasperation from any of these coaches. They kept the same body language throughout, whether things were going great or not.
Interaction With Players: It was all cool, calm and collected. No yelling, no screaming, no showing up of their players. Now there were plenty of situations where I’m sure coaches had some internal frustration, but they kept their cool. I believe these coaches clearly communicated with their players, but they picked their spots to communicate with their players in a cool way.
Interaction With Umpires: This was also cool, calm and collected even though there were occasions where disputes had to be settled. Not every call is correct, but the coaches appear to approach the situation if a very collected manner. They waited until the play was over, called time and then approached the umpire to raise their questions.
Remember how I said earlier that some of what I observed was troubling to me. Well, I was troubled or embarrassed to realize how often I coached in a manner that doesn’t follow the example these high level coaches demonstrated. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Well this old dog is going to learn this lesson.
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.