Today was really cold but at least it was windy too. Re-read that first sentance a few times if you need to. Just an optimistic way of looking at the situation. Ok the truth it was miserably cold and brutally windy and I wanted to be in a nice warm bed. But as that wasn’t really an option the camp today I had to “tough it out.”

I had the pleasure of working with some very amazing young ladies today, and not working with another amazing young lady. (I’ll explain that in a minute.) I got the pleasure of doing an elite outfielding session with some fantastic pleayers who LOVE playing the outfield. Being me you can guess the first thing that we did was work on diving for the ball, which of course means that we started on the ground on our knees and went through all of the mechanics. Did I mention that in addition to the miserably cold temperatures, and the bone chilling wind that the ground was completely saturated with water from rains the day before and muddy for the most part. Yes we dove in that, where do you think the term “GET DIRTY” comes from anyway? Anyway the thing that warmed my heart is that not a single one of the girls complained. Not one. I love working with players that will do what you ask, when you ask and are willing to sacrifice comfort, for skill.

There were 2-3 that had dove for the ball before and were pretty comfortable and the rest admitted having some fears about laying out flat while moving. By the end of our session every single girl had layed out for the ball while on a full sprint. You have to admire that. So how did I reward this amazing group of athletes after having made my entire weekend? By making them run on a dead spring for popups at the fence. There also seems to be a fear about doing that for some reason that I just don’t understand. How badly can it hurt it run squarely into a metal fence post on a dead sprint with your face unprotected. That’s right that could hurt quite a bit, I just forgot. They all worked really well in communicating with each when they were approaching the fence learned the right technique to then find the fence with their arm while still keeping their eyes on the ball and got.

One of the other things I frequently get to teach on is Speed and Agility, and one of my favorite things to do is have a rather lengthy, gruelling, gut wrenching agility “obstacle course of a sort” at the very end of the session. I split the girls into 2 teams and more often than not the teams come out uneven. At which point I have to challenge the second team by saying “Team 1 has more girls than you do so someone is going to have to start it and then run a second round at the end.” To which I generally get a lot of blank stares which basically say “Please Please Please don’t pick me. I’m exhausted as it is.” I got plenty of those but then I got what I usually get, one young lady who steps up and says “I’m willing to do it.” The one player in the crowd who will gut it out for the team. Then I got something I have never gotten from the Team 1, several of them spoke almost in unison and said “That’s Ok. Things aren’t always fair and we are really to work harder than that team has to.” Almost cried. Seriously. As if that wasn’t enough the girl on team 2 then says “No I want to do it.” She didn’t want to win and have the other team say it was because they had more players. For the first time ever, I ended the relay without even get close to the end. I didn’t need. Both teams had already won.

So I started by saying that I loved the fact that I “didn’t get to work with an amazing young lady.” She is one of the students that I work with nearly every week and I would do anything for her, and know she would do anything for me. Today I saw her for only 1 minute and that was at the tail end of lunch. She made it clear through her actions that she was there to learn. To improve. To be “molded” by the other amazing instructors that are here. She knows she has access to me 24/7, so she used her time wisely to learn and be seen by all of those that she may never get to work with again

So here I sit with my back in pain and my knees still sore from last week’s workout with Barry Lovelace, but my heart is overlfowing with emotion for what I got to witness today in the hearts, minds, attitudes and efforts of young ladies who love the game of fastpitch and who will do anything to get better.

Category : Training