Pitchers: Honoring your Pace while Protecting Your Joy
Wow, can you believe it that we are already halfway through the first month of a new year?!?
I know for me as a coach, married to a coach and a parent of athletes it seems like time is constantly flying bye very quickly. Let's not forget that our oldest son is graduating this year from high school too!
In these moments when I feel like time is going by so fast, in order to keep myself present I constantly refer back to goals that I have set for myself in order to accomplish the goals I have with my family, my team #teamv.
Reminding myself to focus on my progress and "my" process of reaching those goals helps me show up when things get tough.
Funny thing is, I'm not a fan of the cliché' top 10 ways to set goals or the 5 ways to track your goals. You might wonder why, and the answer is simple; I have to construct my own 10 ways to set goals and my own 5 ways to track my goals.
You have to construct YOUR goals for YOURself and TRUST YOUR PROCESS!
About 10 years into being a coach's wife I started to realize that I wasn't the traditional coach's wife. Now don't take that in any way negative all it means is I am a coach too and a business owner, so I have a different beat to my progression that someone who isn't a coach and a business owner that is also married to a coach may have. I had moments where I felt like I was in this alone and literally making it up as I go but in truth I wasn't alone and what I was making up was the bones to me learning what I am capable of doing!
You as a pitcher may start to see differences to your journey vs other pitcher's journeys and that doesn't make you any less to the next pitcher. The quality your craft is a direct relationship to the work you put into it and truth is someone is always working harder than you.
So question is, how do you work harder than that person? What if your schedule is tricky? What if you aren't as tall as other pitchers? What if you are recovering from an injury? What if you question everything you are doing because you feel stuck? What if other pitchers your age are throwing faster than you? What if you only have 2 pitches right now? You get my drift here there are a lot of "What Ifs!"
My question for you as a pitcher is do feel like your training is evolving or is it stale? Like maybe you need to step back and focus a little more on a specific movement in your pitch? Do you sometimes find that your pitching journey is a little different than other pitchers around you? Like maybe their success has been reached very quickly and here you are still trying to get faster?
Well, I'm here to tell you that, THAT IS 100% OKAY to question what you have been doing, what you are planning on doing and making sure you are working towards completing your goal. This shows self-awareness to one's position and responsibilities. You are right where you are supposed to be!
The key to honoring your pace in your journey of reaching YOUR goal is to protect your JOY!
The moment you start comparing your beginning or your middle to someone else's ending this is when you start to rob yourself of your joy. The same joy that allowed you to fall in love with the game of softball and the position of pitching. The same joy that you had to play and put in the work at practice. You will find that you start to put unneeded stress on yourself to preform along with physical and emotional stress on your body which will break you down one pitch at a time mentally. Your head space will soon start to dwindle down to a place of failure and fear of ever even trying to pitch again.
As a coach of 24 years and a former colligate pitcher, I have seen athletes break like this along the way. I have played with other pitchers on my teams that thought they carried the team when in reality it is a team effort and in order to accomplish the value of learning and not losing and the ultimate goal of winning it takes complete ownership in each teammates position, not just one of them out there on the field can win the game. Not even you, the pitcher.