I received an email from a friend of mine today that was sent to his team letting them know that practice was cancelled because the field had been setup for t-ball and hadn’t been changed. It had the portable fences, shorter bases etc.

It made me think that often times we look at situations like that and our defeated by them, rather than capitalizing on them and using them to our advantage. I wrote to the coach and suggested that in that situation there plenty of great lessons that could have been learned by going ahead and having the practice with the field configure that way.

1. With the fielders so much closer together they would be forced to communicate more.
2. With the shorter bases the fielders would be forced to attack the ball and release it faster.
3. With the short fences they could have done batting and really emphasized the girls hitting line drives, that would then translate to home runs.
4. With the short fences, and just being plastic, they would have had an excellent chance for the fielders to go back for the ball and work on fence drills.
5. With the obstacles in their way the girls would have to bond together and make the most of the situation, just like they would on a wet field, a game with a bad umpire, 5 games in a row etc.

In his books “Touch the Top of the World” and “The Adversity Advantage”, Erik Weihenmayer shares his journey to reach the 7 highest summits in the world. No big deal to you? Well Erik is also completely blind in both eyes. He shares a story of how mountain climbers traverse deep passages by tieing ladders together and then laying them across the ravines. They then have to walk across those flimsy ladders with their mountain climbing boots which are basically just lots of pointy spikes. He says “Can you imagine having to do that and actually seeing what is below? There is no way I could walk across that while looking down hundreds of feet.” The amazing thing about Erik Weihenmayer is that he doesn’t just try and “cope” with adversity, he uses it to his advantage.

What adversity are you allowing to defeat you, instead of taking advantage of it and using it to make you better? What adversities are you allowing your players to defeat them, instead of encouraging them how to use those situations to their advantage?

Category : Coaching