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New season, team coaching

Softball has started, the 2017 of softball has started. The Dutch National Team started their winter program this past Monday and is officially on it's way to the European Championships of the upcoming summer. Are you excited? I definitely am!

The first week of practice is always full of fun, but also struggles. The fun part is getting to run around again and hit a ball. The struggles are the blisters from hitting, a stiff shoulder from throwing and a sore body. It still amazes me how, after 11 months of training and playing, 1 month off still causes these struggles. It shows how important practice and play on a regular base are. Not just to get better, also to stay softball fit.

Now onto something new, a piece of my study. In an assignment I had to look at teams I played for and their coaches, comparing them to a model of coaching and leadership. It started as just an assignment for one team, but it made me think about more softball teams and the way things go during a season.

According to the model that was discussed, the team performance and the team satisfaction are directly influenced by what the players want, the coach wants and how much those two correlate. So a coach can be a good coach, but when he/she is standing in front of the team that does not match his behavior the satisfaction and performance most likely are not going to be very good. The same goes the other way, if a good team does not get the matching coach, the results won't show.

Looking back at teams and coaches I played for I can definitely say at almost all times the team and coach had the same goals, there was just a significant difference in the way they thought how to reach those goals.

Every year there is a team that seems to fall apart because of disagreements, it might be interesting to look at coach and team matches before putting someone in front of a group because a board likes it. There are always at least 10 stories, goals and lives involved. No one likes to cooperate in something they don't agree on and didn't get to decide on. I remember one coach that wanted to talk to the team and wanted to know if the team wanted him as a coach before he made his decision, now I realize how important that one night was.

If we just speak our mind and find people who want to go with that, working together on the same dream, with enough of the same thoughts about the road, makes the speed go up! :)

Have a nice weekend!


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