May 2013 - Tip of the Month

"Leadership Comes in Many Forms"

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About a month ago I was out watching one of my students during her HS softball game. Certainly not the best softball in the world, but I wanted to get some live in-game video of her behind the plate. Around the 4th inning, things started to get out of hand.

On consecutive plays, a bunt was generously turned into a triple, a guaranteed fly-out dropped in between three fielders and a routine groundball leaked right through an infielders feet. A couple runs had already scored and it wouldn't be long before the game was put out of reach.

It was at this moment that I saw my student do something that, as a coach, made me prouder than all of her great blocks and throws put together. Without any coach's advisement, she called "Time!" and gathered her infielders at the pitcher's circle.

Now, I don't know what she said, but sometimes what is said doesn't necessarily matter. What mattered was THAT she said something. It gave her team a chance to take a deep breath, take a step back and collect themselves before returning to action. Her team recorded the next three outs in order and didn't yield another run in that inning.

As catchers we must realize that if we strap on the "tools of ignorance" we have assumed a leadership role on our team, whether we know it or not. We must also realize that leadership can come in so many different forms. Sometimes it's giving a polite wake-up call. Sometimes it's providing reassurance that everything is fine and making note of the little things our teammates are doing well. Sometimes it's leading by example with your attitude and your work ethic.

You don't need to be the loudest member of your team to be a leader, you simply need to ask yourself one thing every time you walk out on to a field - "what can I do today to help my teammates?"

One of the answers to that question is following our "Catcher's Creed".

Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!