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Softball Performance Tips – Are You Enough?

By Stacie Mahoe

“If you are not enough without it, you will never be enough with it”

softballtips - mental gameI love quotes. I just absolutely love quotes. Whether they are about chasing dreams, building confidence, working hard anything that I can use to inspire me. So I love watching some of the all time classic sports coaching movies. The ones where at just the right time emotionally the well respected old coach delivers the perfect motivational saying. The one that rallies the troops to come back from an insurmountable score, the one that sticks with you the rest of your life and you just wait for the right time to share it with others and pass it on.

One of the lines that has stuck with me for 18 years now actually comes from one of the most unexpected places. The comedy classic “Cool Runnings” which is about the Jamaican Bobsled team. The coach in the movie is played by John Candy and throughout the movie he is the exact opposite of what you would expect from a “great coach.” He’s not very disciplined. He doesn’t even try hard. As the move progresses you learn that he got kicked out of the sport he loved, bobsledding, for cheating. Clearly not the kind of person you would want leading your daughters … right?

After rolling on the floor for over an hour at the rib splitting humor in the movie, it finally transitions to that pivotal moment. The central character in the movie finally has that “heart to heart” talk with the coach and asks him “Why did you cheat?” The laughable, fool hardy, undisciplined coach finally opens up and shares “I let the pressure get to me. I felt like I HAD to win. Don’t let that happen to you. If there is one thing I want you to know” and here is the line I’ll never forget “If you are not enough without it, you will never be enough with it.”

As this season kicks off, and practices are in full swing let me ask you this simple question “Why are you going through all of this?”

If you are doing it to win your parent’s approval … don’t bother.
If you are doing it to prove something to your coach … don’t bother.
If you are doing it to win some $3.74 trophies … don’t bother.
If you are doing it so you have bragging rights at school … don’t bother.

The only reason you should be playing this game …
The only reason you should be putting your body through grueling workouts …
The only reason you should be beating your body on the field during practice …
Is for YOURSELF.

When was the last time you picked up your glove and a ball and played catch with a friend just because you love playing catch. Nobody watching. Nobody pushing. Nobody telling you that you are doing something right or wrong. You did it just because you love playing catch.

When was the last time you asked dad to just drop you and a friend off at a field or a batting cage and you just hit for the sheer fun of hearing that magical sound that comes from hitting the ball right on the sweet spot? Nobody watching. Nobody pushing. Nobody saying “great hit” or “fix this.” You went and hit just because you love hitting.

When was the last time you fought all weekend long. In bone chilling cold or brutal heat. Dug deep within yourself, won the 3.74 trophy and then handed it to your little brother/ sister or your mom and thanked them for being there and giving up their time to support you all weekend long.

I want to challenge you right now to take some time and examine why you are playing this game. Whatever else you may be playing for other than yourself, isn’t going to fulfill you. Because … “If you are not enough without it, you will never be enough with it.”

Guest Post by Dalton Ruer
Dalton Ruer has been using softball instruction to encourage and motivate for the past 15 years. Throughout the year he provides private batting lessons, team based clinics and high energy softball camps. He can be reached for questions or comments through email at CoachDalton @ CrossTrainingSoftball.com. Checkout his blog and other valuable resources at www.CrossTrainingSoftball.com

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Comments on Softball Performance Tips – Are You Enough? »

March 22, 2011

Ken Krause @ 10:03 am

Dalton, awesome post! (I love that movie too, by the way.) But you're right. Players get caught up in playing for all sorts of reasons, many of them involving someone else. You can get by that way, but you'll never really be happy doing it.

The first and foremost reason to play is for the love of the game. Do it because you like being on a team, working hard, struggling to succeed. Not for the $3.74 trophy, as you say, but because of the sense of satisfaction you get at the end of it all.

For those in the midst of their careers, enjoy it while you can. Sure it can be tough sometimes. But when you're all done, you'll probably find yourself wishing you could get on that field just one more time and experience the sights, the sounds, the smells and just the feelings of playing for the sake of playing. There's nothing else like it.

[…] come up several times in various areas of my life over the past several weeks.  One example was this great article over at SoftballPerformance.com which talks about this very […]

July 22, 2011

Cmcarthur 1070 @ 12:30 am

I am a player, and for the longest I wondered why I bothered to play softball.  It was a lot of hard work with little recognition.  I had to work hard at it and I was not made any less of a nerd (I'm the girl who makes straight A's on her report card and does things like read a book in a day or write a book with 500 pages) because I played.  I wasn't playing to try to hang out with my friends, because I found that I often was simply watching a play develop on the field instead of chatting about some guy.  People often seemed to forget I even played a sport!  I had to endure tough pratices with my dad to try to improve, beg a reluctant and often unwilling mother to drive me to sign up for rec ball to have a way of practicing during the off-season, and finally practice by myself when normal people would be inside watching cartoons.  It wasn't until recently when I finally realized why I kept showing up to try-outs that had people with much more experience than me.  For some strange reason, I loved to play.  I liked the feeling I got when I hit a ball just right or had an error-free practice, and because of that, I'll keep playing.

staciemahoe @ 1:33 am

Love it!!!

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