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#AnythingButSoft: How One Coach Helps Athletes to Become Better People

We believe that softball is more than a sport - it makes players #AnythingButSoft on and off the field. This season, we'll be sharing tips and insights from leading coaches, nutritionists, and parents alike and talking about how softball makes athletes #AnythingButSoft.

As a coach for over two decades, Jamie Goodwin has had plenty of success.

Now in his third season as the head coach at Marianna (Florida) Middle School, Goodwin has guided the Lady Bullpups to an undefeated (25-0) record in 2015 and lost just three games in 2016.

However, it’s not the wins that Goodwin coaches for. It’s for something that extends well beyond the diamond.
“A coach that I coached with before told me, ‘Wins and losses are good but the bottom line at the end of the season: are the girls a better person as opposed to just a better athlete?” Goodwin said. “If we can make better people at the same time, then I consider the season a success.”

The veteran coach offered up some useful advice for fellow softball coaches when it comes to teaching girls how to conquer fear, embrace competition, and seizing the moment.

Failing isn’t the end of the world

“The main thing that I try to instill in all the athletes that I’ve coached is that failing is really nothing more than an opportunity to get better. People learn a lot more through their failures than their successes. Whenever we lose we look at what we did wrong and then we try to correct and improve on it.

“We always spend the first half of all our practices in drill work and fundamentals. I think knowing your fundamentals will help you be more successful on the field. It makes you not as uptight or tense in pressure situations because we’ve practiced it endlessly.”

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Competition is something to cherish

“I tell the girls all the time that you should be competitive in everything you do, not just sports. You should always want to strive to be your best at everything you do whether it’s on a field or in a classroom. That competition, as long as it’s done in the correct way, is healthy in all areas of your life.” 

“One thing I tell our girls is, ‘Any team can beat any given team on any given day.’ Tim Tebow has an awesome quote (he lives by), ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ I try to instill that in my girls that you have to work hard no matter who the opponent is because if you don’t, they can play their all-star game and beat you, even though they probably shouldn’t.”

Taking risks provides more chances for success

“As in all sports, you’ve got to be aggressive. You can’t sit back or be hesitant about anything. You have to play in an aggressive manner. That way, you take control of the situation instead of letting the situation take control of you.”

“I try to teach that to the girls in the drills. For example, the infield drills you come up on the ball instead of playing back. You’ve got to be aggressive towards the ball to make the play.”

From GameChanger and Rolando Rosa

Softball, #AnythingButSoft, Softball Player Development