We kicked off summer with our "Word of the Week" being GRATITUDE. We wanted to take time to remind our athletes just how lucky we are to be able to compete and grow in the sport we love! If we all begin to encourage our girls to play from a place of gratitude -- rather than expectation, pressure and entitlement -- we can begin to renew their true love for the game. This will help them see the big picture and give them the freedom to let go of their fears, and just simply PLAY!
The girls responded incredibly well to this message, and were able to quickly identify the people and opportunities they feel gratitude towards in their lives. When athletes were asked what they are grateful for, we had answers from "the ability to play softball," to "coaches and teammates who stick with me," even some as simple as "a safe home and shelter."
We then applied the concept in a different way that can relate to our mental game. Our instructors and athletes discussed how having this "attitude of gratitude" can help us persevere through times of struggle or adversity in our game by being thankful for each weakness or flaw that is exposed. Without that failure, we would literally never learn how to grow or progress along in our journey. We are conditioned to view difficult situations (such as a slump or mechanical flaw) with frustration and panic, and we tend to lose the foresight and patience to understand that success is NOT a straight line to the top, but rather an upward slope with lots of peaks and valleys. Having the perspective to find those moments to be thankful can make the difference between our athletes giving up, or pushing through whatever challenge they're facing.
Our #be360U challenge was to find a coach or teammate and express gratitude to them in some way. A hand written note, a phone call, or better yet a face-to-face 'thank you'!
Maria Van Abel & Laura Beyer
When we started 360U Softball in 2016, our goal was to help softball players get better. We found a lot of athletes needing instruction, and wanted to help them bridge the gap between where they were, and where they wanted to be as softball players. VERY quickly, we found that the grand opportunity in front of us was not just to teach mechanics to these young women, but FAR more importantly, to help them understand how truly amazing each and every one of them are and to find their best self.