Ok, so I said I was going to write often here, but it's been 2 months since I've done it......how time flies. I was reminded today about posting here by a friend who likes to stay up-to-date with the softball program and I promised I would make a better effort to do so, so here I am.
Our fall season is winding down - 3 practices and our intrasquad scrimmage are left on the schedule. We got to play 3 games on Saturday in Duluth, MN, at the St. Scholastica Fall Classic and it was a very fun day. We rotated our lineup every 2 innings so everyone got a lot of playing time, and our pitchers got several innings each. I am pleased with our improvement since we started our fall practices, and if the team is willing to make sacrifices and work hard during the winter, who knows what could happen in 2009?
We are currently at 23 players on our roster, and I anticipate that is where we'll stay. We are open with our players about where they stand, so if they are fighting for a spot, they know it, and they also are told what they need to do to secure their roster spot, if that's what they want to do. We emphasize the choices that each of our players have - the choice to play hard every rep and get better, or the choice to dog it and risk losing playing time. Regardless of anything else, the choice is theirs. As is their choice whether or not to do what they need to do during the winter to make themselves better players. I have asked them to ask themselves every morning what they can do as an individual to get better so that the team, in turn, gets better.
We also have talked about how each of our players values the team. I truly believe that if they value the team the way they should, then their daily choices and decisions should be easy to make.
This is a fun group, as have all my teams been at UW Eau Claire. The first-year players are fitting in well and learning a lot every day. I have appreciated the attention they are paying to learning everything they can. They are like sponges and it's rewarding to see them work hard and reap the benefits of their efforts.
Well, I think it's time to take my dog for a swim - he had ACL surgery 4 weeks ago last Friday, and is getting along very well, but has significant atrophy in his left hip, so it's time for some consistent rehab to get that hip back in shape. He's an 8-year-old yellow lab named Bogey, and he acts like he's 2! He LOVES to swim! Can you imagine a lab that DOESN'T love to swim? So it will be easy to "coax" him into the water - not so easy to coax me in though, since the weather is finally cooling off! But the waders will make it a little less painful for me!
Enjoy the evening, and check back soon!