It’s been awhile since I posted, but I have been all over the place, both physically and mentally. For friends, and fans of the site, I apologize, but at the same time, it’s been such a crazy adventure that I have to share some things I’ve learned. This won’t be a pure softball post, talking hitting mechanics, or pitching. It’s kinda the opposite, and I keep telling people that softball shows you something new everyday, or week. This is new for sure (side note: I recently saw a coach confined to the dugout, not allowed to coach a base, but not kicked out of the game, totally new!).
Over the past four months, I’ve traveled more than usual, and to put a number on it, you’d all be shocked. Since July 30, I’ve been on a 24,131 kilometre (15000 miles) journey (not counting local work and lessons). This amount of travel is pretty much standard in these months for me, as I’m everywhere haha. Between camps, club teams, and my university team, there’s a lot of locations involved. It’s so exciting being
a part of so many great teams, and working with great people. That being said, it can weigh you down too. This last leg of the journey here in November has come with some shocking realizations. What isn’t shocking, is that a tired coach, isn’t as good. So, I’m here to talk about balance, and how you can still be involved while taking time away for yourself, as a coach, or an athlete.
Coaching, or playing can take a toll on your body. Everyone knows that physically, this is an issue, and in recent years, the mental toll has been well documented as well. However, if you just keep pushing through, how do you process the mental exhaustion? How can you work through it, improve, and grow? I am here to say, if you don’t take time away from the park, the practice field, the gym, how can you actually process it? I challenge you all (y’all for my Texas friends) to think about how much time, physical time you spend at softball, or traveling to and from softball. It all adds up, and if you don’t take time to rest, and recharge, you can expect your performance to suffer, especially mentally, and emotionally.
Recently, I have been so lucky to participate in some amazing events. These events have involved college signings, rejecting of offers, finding new offers, lessons, actual games, and practices, not to mention the competitive season in the Ontario university league (OIWFA). All of these things have varying levels of emotion, and mental processing. I know this is my “job”, but at the same time, this job contains such human connection, such love, that it’s hard to not break down from time to time. Prior to my final weekend in America, I was lucky enough to spend some down time at Lake Tahoe. If you’ve never been, you really have to go, it’s quite possibly the most beautiful place on the planet. This two day hiatus from softball allowed me time to sit by the water, and the mountains at the same time. Time to shut down my brain, relax, recharge, and contemplate where I’m heading in this amazing game. I had been telling myself (and others), take time for yourself, relax, make sure you have enough energy to do your thing right. I also hadn’t been doing this myself.
The value of doing nothing is hard to describe. It gives you time, that’s for sure. Time to think, to relax, and just kinda talk to yourself. The value I’ve gained is to remember where you are at, but also, where you could, or even, should be. That last part is really important, where could you be? Where do you even want to be? These are questions we rarely get to ask ourselves in employment, or in life. Please take the time to evaluate yourself, and your situation. You might be surprised what you learn about where you want to go, and where you might deserve to be.
Happy softballing kids!