To everyone new to my blog, the current blogs, including this one, are responses to questions shared on past Instagram posts. Thank you again for all the post suggestions and now on to the next request!
This next one comes from @jameejuarez22 who asked:
What is “the difference between a mistake and a punishment for lack of focus (consequence)?”
This is a great question that, we as players, face everyday. There is definitely a difference between making a mistake and making one due to lack of focus. The consequences also vary because of it as well.
I can remember countless times that a coach would yell at my team or me because they were mad for a mistake that was made from lack of focus. In other words, one of us had “checked out.” Usually, this happens mentally but it can happen physically or emotionally too. In softball, to play our best, we need all components of the game to be “checked in” and ready.
One of the hardest thing to do is to be “checked in” for an entire game, for every pitch, offensively and defensively. For this, we can take a cue from our brothers over in baseball. Although, softball is a faster game, it is still a thinking game. You see, there is a lot of down time in between pitches, batters and plays. When you play a position, you might not get a ball the entire game. You may have to wait eight other batters for your turn to hit. There’s a lot of waiting time that your brain can wander off and lose focus. So the question is, why do coaches who know this, always get mad about it???
It's because the moment you lose focus, the ball will find you! Every time! It’s like a silent unwritten rule: If you lose focus for a second, the ball will be hit to you or you will watch a “fatty” cross home plate. That’s why coaches get mad. They want to win too. Focus is half the battle in our sport.
I’ve never had a coach be mad for a mistake. If you were ready and gave your best effort, a rushed play or mishit of the ball has never once caused a coach to be angry in my day. Every coach instinctively knows when you are focused and ready to bring it. So that’s why they are mad. They want you to be the best that you can be!
For my young athletes reading this—take this as a challenge. Your coach is challenging you to stay focused the entire game and be the BEST YOU that YOU can BE. Remember that and accept the challenge to be focused and ready to go every time you step between those white lines!
Monica Abbott #14
“No one expects you to be perfect but they do expect you to be focused and ready to go… It is through a high level of focus that we have the opportunity to be perfect” ~Monica