Fastpitch 411 – The Heart of Coaching

Your virtual fastpitch coaching resource center

Fastpitch 411 – The Heart of Coaching - Your virtual fastpitch coaching resource center

How to stop spinning your wheels and make things happen

Feeling stuck?

Here is something I learned from The Daily Whip. It’s about how to get more done and be more productive. As coaches, we have limited time with our team. It’s important that we make the most of our time, of our season.

Here’s a little strategy that can help you do that.

listMake a Wish List, a Week Goal, and a Daily Hit List.

Wish List
Write out your wish list for your team/program. What do you want for it? Where do you want to see it goal? What’s in your big picture? Don’t over think this, just write down the FIRST 10-12 things that come to your mind.

Week Goal
Look at your wish list and think of ONE thing to want to get done/address this week. Write down this ONE goal.

Daily Hit List
With your Week Goal in mind, come up with 2-3 things you WILL do today that move you closer to your week goal. Do these things as the very FIRST softball things you do all day. Nothing else comes first. Hit this hit list first.

Do NOT list a bazillion things. This is not your “to-do” list. This is simply a list of 2-3 actions you can take today that will help you accomplish your week goal. Keep the list short so it’s DO-able.

IF you happens to finish this list and feel feisty, go ahead and think of the one NEXT thing you can do to accomplish your week goal and tackle that. Finish that? Tackle ONE more thing if you’re so inclined. That’s fine, but remember to make your initial list for the day short and focused!


Note: if you’re one of those people that absolutely cannot reduce the list to just 3 things, use the “A1″ concept :)
(I got this idea from Dave Ramsey)

Look at your list and write a letter “A” next to the 3 MOST important things on that list.  Put a “B” next to the next 3 things, etc.

In the “A” section, think about which task is THE most important, must do item OR the one that will give you the BIGGEST result with the least amount of effort.  Write a “1″ next to that thing.  It is now your “A1″ thing to do.

Do that again and write a “2″ next to the next  most important thing.  The a “3″ next to the last thing etc.  Do this for the B section too.

NOW…as you’re going through your day and “things” come up, before you get off track and start doing things that are NOT on your list, think about whether or not that thing is more important than your “A1″ task.  If it is, by all means, take care of it.  If it’s not, put it aside and HIT your HIT LIST!  Stick to doing your “A1″ thing first.  ;)

HOW > what

Remember, it’s not only about what happened but HOW it happened.

Process is important.

In training, don’t just focus in whether or not a ground ball to 3rd makes it over to 1st.

HOW did it happen? Did you 3rd baseman come to the ball or let the ball play her? Did she use proper footwork to get rid of the ball or did she throw off balance? Did she get rid of the ball quickly and efficiently or did she take too long and use poor throwing mechanics? Did your 1st baseman set up properly on the bag or not? Did your 1st baseman stretch to the ball correctly? Did she receive/catch the ball with proper technique or not?

There’s so much more to a practice play than what happened (the ground ball hit at the 3rd baseman made it to 1st base). The HOW is probably even more important. Pay attention to the HOW. Constantly work to improve the HOW. The WHAT’S will come naturally if you do.

The same goes for wins and losses. If you’re having a tough season and lost “again,” HOW did you lose? What was the number one biggest breakdown your team had during the game? Did you get better at the things you worked on in practice this week? Did you do anything better than the last time you lost? Are your batters making more contact instead of striking out? If they’re still striking out are they at least making better choices at the plate? Or is your team continuing to make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

If the SAME mistakes keep happening, maybe it’s time to DO something different about them. Try a new approach. Try a new drill. Doing the same thing in practice and hoping it works out different in competition when, so far, the results have been the same is not smart!

Again, look at the HOW. It’s SO important for staying on track, making progress. The what doesn’t always tell you what you need to know.

Also keep in mind that even slow progress IS progress.

It’s NO progress you need to worry about!


FastTip: cookie cutters

No one thing will work for EVERY player. Find what works for yours. Yes, that means a little more work on your part, but it’s your job as a coach to help ALL your players the best you can. Not just help the ones who “get” the approach, explanation, or demonstration you use the first time.

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