Three Things Coaches Say (That Players Can’t Stand)
We talk to a lot of fast-pitch players round here. And one thing is for sure, fast-pitch softball players have opinions and are emotional little creatures. I’m sure there are plenty of coaches in this world who get down on one knee before a practice or game and just pray that the ‘regular non-hormonal, happy’ versions of their players show up – lest everything they say and do be used against them and invoke tears. Right? Ahh, the joys of coaching girls. And along the way, many softball players have shared with us some of the things they wish their coaches wouldn’t say. (But hey, they’re a coach – and they can’t just stand there saying nothing!)
THREE BASIC THINGS. You hear these three things over and over and over again. Coaches love saying them, and well…players get tired of hearing them. Trust us, every time you say one of these things to your players – they are rolling their eyes (even if only in their heads.)
Funny thing is these THREE things coaches say – are both stupid and brilliant. Stupid because they are essentially the goals of the game, and brilliant because if you can figure these three things out – YOU WIN!
Ready! Let’s see who is guilty.
1. Throw Strikes! Coaches are always reminding, or telling their pitchers to throw strikes. “Hey #9, we need a strike right here,” or “How about a strike,” or “Give me a strike.” We promise you, this is what your pitchers are TRYING to do, whether you say it or not. We promise they aren’t trying to throw balls in the dirt, or into the back-stop.
2. Hit the Ball/Get on Base. One thing is for sure, if you cannot hit the ball or get on base, you cannot win unless you are walking in runs. And every batter at the plate has one goal in mind, which is to hit the ball and get on base. And yet, every coach still feels the uncontrollable urge to tell his or her girls – HIT THE BALL somewhere, “I need you on base!”
3. Make a play. This comes out in many different forms, but essentially means the same thing. Make a play, catch it in the air, make a good throw, get me an out, let’s get out of this inning. Again, we PROMISE – your girls are out there trying to make a play.
And there you have it. Short and simple. If you want to win games you have to throw strikes, hit the ball/get on base, and make plays.
Truth is, we have to give our coaches a break. They only say these things because they love you, not because they think you forgot what you are supposed to be doing out there on the brick-dust and grass. Plus, saying something is better than saying nothing, right? And players – just humor your coaches and smile (keep that eye-rolling in your head).