Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Week in the Life - Day 1

As I sit here at my kitchen table watching the rain come down (at least it's rain rather than snow this time!), I'm reflecting on the past few days and considering what to write about. This invitation to blog has been staring at me, as my student manager, Karen, has used the subtlety of sending me a "reminder" about posting......ok Karen, I get it! :)

The season has presented its share of challenges. The weather has been the most persistent of them all. We've faced our share of adversity - and I don't use that term lightly. So what of the "life lessons" we are learning as we trek through another season of Blugold softball?

So as I sit here, trying to be profound, what keeps coming to mind is doing a series of entries about a "day in the life" or "week in the life" of a Division III softball coach.

So I think I'll go back to last week - I'll just pick Friday as my starting point and we'll go from there.

To start, I'm an assistant athletic director, so my job is not just coaching softball. At this time of year, I'm actually working very hard on getting things ready to go for summer orientation as well as Fall 2011 for the teams to come back to campus and start practices. So I spent a few minutes with the women's hockey coach determining when his team athletics orientation meeting would be held next fall.

Also as an assistant AD, I am in charge of facilitating team evaluations at the end of each season. I use a pretty slick computer program through the University, but I have to enter every email address and name manually (well, I use copy/paste for the email address) :) So I spent a good part of the morning setting up the emails to go out to the spring sport athletes.

After having lunch at my desk, it was time to load equipment into my vehicle to take outside for practice. Another challenge with the ever-changing weather - the equipment spends more than its fair share of time in the back of my Honda Pilot!

So Friday was the day after a double header, but the day before a double header as well - a pretty typical schedule for the spring of 2011, given all the changes the weather has forced upon us. What was the forecast? Cold, windy, and possible rain. Ah, what the heck, practicing outside will make us tougher - plus, there were just things we HAD to do that couldn't be done in the gym. So outside it was.

Now, there are certain things that I will compromise on - how LONG we practice outside is one of them, especially when the wind chill dips into the 30's. So we had a plan of things we needed to do outside where space makes all the difference, and our goal was to be done in 1 hour. Mission accomplished.

After that 1 hour, however, we had not done any hitting. So back into the gym we went. Friday afternoon was Good Friday, so basically the entire student body was gone - no worries in having to chase pick up hoops players out of the gym. Bring the cages down, get the pitching mats out, and away we go for about another hour. At this point in the season, we have done drill after drill after drill - the players have certain drills that are their favorites and certain drills, that although not their favorites, are necessary for them to get better - those are the things we work on inside.

As we start to hit and pitch, the rain comes down in sheets - good decision to come inside when we did.

We're supposed to play the next day in Oshkosh - thankfully they have a tarp to protect the infield. But are we 100% certain at this point that we'll play? Not really - but like most other days, we have to prepare "as if." We have to know for sure by 7:30 a.m. the next day because that's our deadline to cancel the bus so we don't get charged. My assistant coach, Amber Dohlman, made her regular trip to Sam's Club earlier today to get meat, bread, cheese, etc., so we can save money by fixing sandwiches on the bus on the way to the game

Get the gym cleaned up, put up the cages, put the mats away - unless you hear from me, bus leaves at 8:30 a.m.

9:45 p.m. - Oshkosh calls - we should be a go for tomorrow. No need to cancel the bus. Good night.

"A week in the life" continues with Saturday - tomorrow. See you then.

Coach

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