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Monday Motivation: Motivation VS. Discipline

So what comes first, Motivation or Discipline?

I don't know about you but this reminds me of the old question of which comes first the chicken or the egg? To me these 2 words are a direct correlation of each others meaning. Without motivation there isn't any discipline to be applied and with out discipline there isn't any motivation to be disciplined. Now say that entire sentence out loud, it kind of circles back around. Without one you can't have the other but do you have to start with one in order to have the other?

I want to share something that spoke so boldly this weekend to me about the direct correlation of these two words, Motivation and Discipline. Not only did I watch an amazing group of young ladies play a game they love but I watched them learn how to truly start to trust one another as a TEAM as well as trusting themselves. The college team that I am blessed to be the pitching coach at played on Saturday at a local Fall Ball tourney where 18U teams could play in.

On Saturday they presented with a lack of discipline. Sure they were motivated to play but they forgot to apply the direction of the little things like playing catch, hitting a ground ball up the middle, having confidence in their pitch. You still have to be disciplined to make a play, to hit the ball and to pitch a quality pitch. It was like something was missing all day. My pitchers were doing the best they could knowing that they all were battling internal things and then some would even allow self doubt sneak in while they went inside their head. At that point a pitcher is unreachable on the mound, let alone ANY athlete for that matter!

One thing Head Coach Matta and her amazing coaching staff kept saying is "You all have worked to hard to come out here and play like this."
I am blessed to be around such amazing, loving and courageous coaches to speak into athletes!

It takes motivation to work hard and working hard takes discipline. Discipline applied from the work that you put in takes motivation to apply it. That's exactly what these girls did on Sunday. They showed up Motivated and Disciplined, READY to play ball the way they knew how to, the way they had been working hard at practice and in the classroom. It's not that they played perfect or didn't make an error but its what they did when they failed. They carried themselves differently than when they failed on Saturday. They consistently spoke into each other and held each other accountable on and off the bench! These girls failed forward and in doing so, GREAT games were pitched, GREAT plays were made, GREAT at bats were taken and GREAT moments were OWNED!

Maybe it was in the trip home, the well rested night which (I'm hoping they all got) and the drive to the field early in the morning that the motivating preparation had to start. The pump up music to get their head space right, the podcast they listened too to prepare to overcome adversity or the grace space that they reminded themselves to embrace in the game. Maybe it was the conversation they may have shared among carpool or maybe just the silence of the drive, ya know the calm before the storm! They created a momentary space to be pumped up in order to WAKE UP their discipline from all of their hard work and re direct everything from the 3 games on Saturday. Which if I am completely honest I don't see the 2 out of 3 per the X's and the O's as total losses but more so as LEARNing moments. Failing isn't just that and then you are done. Failing is learning what not to do so that you know not to do that again. Insert the BOLD and COURAGEOUS story of Thomas Edison!! After all in the game of Softball you fail more times than you succeed. Your success isn't defined in the moments of when everything falls into place but more so defined by what you do in the moments you fail...HOW DO YOU COME BACK? How do you stay or get motivated, ready to direct your discipline to show up and play the game you love and play it with grace?

Fun Fact: When I played college ball we all wrote "HISTORY" on the top of our cleats with a sharpie. By doing this the moment we made an error or something didn't go as planned we would look down and see it was...."HISTORY."
It didn't hold us down let alone rob us of our NEXT amazing play just waiting to be made waiting to be OWNED!
The first place your head goes is down in any moment of failure. So by writing "HISTORY" on the top of our cleats we were giving ourselves the permission to accept it in the moment, to be present and to let it go in such a way as to learn from it...not to cripple us and cause us to go into our head.
This is something I have continued implementing in the last 23 years of coaching to my one on one athletes, in fact you may even catch it with a hashtag on my IG.

This weekend was a building block as to what their current and yet unknown strengths are and will be. They will continue to be molding together as they grow as a team and as individuals who learn how to overcome their lack of self discipline in order to be a part of some thing bigger, the TEAM...THE BIG PICTURE!

TEAMMATE: Making your teammate look great! You do this by owning your position on and off the field mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually!

With that I will leave you with the same question I started with...

What comes first Motivation or Discipline? Either way I know as a Coach, as a Mentor as a Mom and a Wife...

If you and when you apply both to whatever you are working on to accomplish in your life you will reach success and trust that with success comes failure. Its a process, trust in yours! Learn how to embrace what it takes to show up, learn to be motivated. Learn what it takes to be disciplined even on the days you "just don't feel like it." The feeling of overcoming a moment of adversity is a building block to your inner strength in order for you to reach YOUR goal, one thought, one moment, one word, one play, one swing and ONE PITCH at a time.


Coach Kally V.


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