Monthly Newsletter

COLUMBUS ELITE 8

Region Tournament Schedules

With ALL Tournaments, you may want to check on weather and changes to potential schedule by contacting head coaches playing directly as all changes may not be reflected on the original schedules posted here!!

2-AA

Monday October 1st ( 2out of 3)

Metter @ Jeff Davis 
Bacon @ Vidalia
 
Thursday October 4th  @ Jeff Davis ( 1 game)
4:00  2 losers from Monday play for the 3-4 seeds
6:00 2 winners play for the 1-2 seeds
4:00  3-4

3-AA - October 3rd at Southern Pines in Dublin.  4:00 Dodge vs. Waco / Bleckley vs. East Laurens  6:00 Winners play and losers play for seeding

2-AAA

9/27 Tattnall @ Long  (2 of 3)  Gm 1
9/27 Liberty @ Appling (2 of 3)  Gm 2
10/1  Winner 2 @ Brantley (2of3)  Gm3
10/1  Winner 1 @ Pierce  (2of3)  Gm 4
10/4 Loser of 3 vs Loser of 4  5pm
10/4 Winner of 3 vs Winner of 4   7pm
 
 

8-AAA

1-AAAA

2-AAAA

1-West Laurens vs 4 Perry

2-Mary Persons vs 3 Howard

Winners Play, losers player
2 out of 3 series for both sets,

8-AAAA

3-AAAAA

Whitewater at Starr's Mill 10/2 at 5 and 7 if game 10/3 at 5:30 for Region Championship

Griffin at McIntosh for 3 and 4 seed same dates and times

4-AAAAA

5-AAAAA

6-AAAAA

7-AAAAA

8-AAAAA

1-AAAAAA

3-AAAAAA

5-AAAAAA

6-AAAAAA

7-AAAAAA

8-AAAAAA - Regular season records determine region standings

2-AAAAAAA

3-AAAAAAA

5-AAAAAAA

6-AAAAAAA - No region tournament.  Standings determined from regular season play.

7-AAAAAAA - 

10/2 - 5 pm & 7 pm
Norcross @ Brookwood 2/3 series for #1 seed
Lakeside Dekalb @ Parkview 2/3 series for #3 seed

8-AAAAAAA - 2/3 series  1 vs 2 Tuesday/Wednesday, 10/2 and 3(if) @ #1 seed   3 vs 4 Wednesday/Thursday, 10/3 and 4(if) @ #3 seed

America's Team Softball - Trip to Spain

If you would like the opportunity to play softball in Spain next summer, please take a minute to fill this out!  I will be sendinng out information to players about the trip soon.  With this information I will discuss fundraising options for players, as well.  I want to help ANYONE that wants to go to go.  Family members can also attend.  ACIS does a phenomenal job planning trips and working with America's Team.  And did I mention, we get to play softball in Spain!!

America's Team Nomination Form

Click on the Logo below for more information!

Congratulations Brooke Kibbe!

Congratulations to Brooke Kibbe of Jackson County for signing to play at Brenau!

Synovus Field Makeover

Nominate a field in the Atlanta Area to be made over by Synovus!  JUNE 24th is the cutoff for nominations!!

Click on the 680 The Fan picture above to take you to the nomination form.

This is good stuff!!

Congratulations Aliyah Whitehead!!

Congratulations to Aliyah Whitehead of Bleckley County for signing to play at Albany State!

 

Congratulations Maddie Poole

Congratulations Maddie Poole of Social Circle for signing to play with East Georgia!!

 

Congratulations Savannah Cook

Congratulations Savannah Cook of Carrollton HS for signing with Gordon State!!

Congratulations Ansley Barge

Congratulations to Ansley Barge of Carrollton for signing with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga!

Congratulations Christa Ward

Congratulations Christa Ward of Rutland for signing with Cleveland State!!

 

Congratulations Megan Brown

Megan Brown of Warner Robins HS committed to NW Florida on February 27th.  Congratulations Megan!

 

Congrats Claire Fendig

Congratulations to Claire Fendig from Glynn Academy on committing to Brenau!

$25 Amazan Gift Card Winners!!!

The winners of the $25 amazon gift cards, selected in a random Alexa drawing, are:

Jim Cahill - North Forsyth

Chance Pitts - Colquitt County

Lisa Chapman - Kennesaw Mountain

Check out the video on our Twitter page (scroll down and look right) 

The Don'ts of Recruiting - Alysha Rudnik Stanton

Topic of the week: 7 Don'ts of Recruiting for players: 

As a PSA (prospective student athlete), most players want to know what a coach looks for in an athlete. It's the million dollar question. While there are many different answers you'll hear based on each coach's preference there are some universal "don'ts" of the recruiting process. Some of these are funny, some are more serious, but ALL of them are something every coach has experienced a PSA do in their coaching career. 

1. Don't wear another team's paraphernalia to a camp or clinic. 

This one will probably make some of you chuckle, but you'd be surprised how often it happens! A girl wearing a UGA shirt to a Tech camp, or wearing an Alabama shirt to a Mercer camp. This is super basic, yet it STILL happens! Even if you're not interested in the school you're going to a camp or clinic for, have some respect and at least wear a neutral color. Parents this includes you too!! 

2. Don't use the wrong name when emailing a coach. 

Again, this is a no brainer yet it happens often. Emails aren't going to earn anyone a scholarship, but they can detour a coach from a player if the player isn't professional, to the point, and accurate in her emails. My best advice: no "copy and pasted" emails. If you can't take the time to write a personal note to a coach, why would you expect him or her to have the time to come watch you play? 

3. Don't brag or post all your recruiting accomplishments on social media. 

Believe it or not, coaches will look at your social media. Let me repeat: coaches will look at your social media! A coach can learn a lot about the character of a player by looking at what she posts. Not only should you be posting things that represent you well, but you should be careful to NOT post all your visits and softball interests on social media. It's so tempting to show off, but it's not good for your process. For one, if you're trying to express to a coach that you like his or her school, don't let your social media say otherwise by having visits or camps and clinics at 20 other schools. Overall, be aware of who looks at your social media (and your parents social media!). 

4. Don't fumble for words on a phone call with a coach. 

Talking on the phone is a lost art these days. Even if you don't talk on the phone much, you should start practicing now. When a coach recruits you, he or she is looking at the total person, not just the athlete. Being well spoken and able to carry on a conversation is huge! Can you articulate why you are interested in a school, ask questions, and be able to talk about yourself? Can you say it with confidence rather than sounding scared?! If you can't do this without fumbling around, you should do some simulated phone calls with your parent or travel coach. This may sound silly, but you'd rather sound silly in front of your parent instead of a coach you want to impress. Be prepared. Have questions written down and ready to ask. Listen to what the coach says and ask more questions based on his or her responses. That will stand out! 

5. Don't let your parents do all the talking on a visit. 

When you take a visit to a school, that's a big deal! It means the coach is interested enough in you to spend time out of their busy schedule and get to know you and let you get to know them. Just like 

having a phone call, BE PREPARED! There's nothing worse on a visit than a recruit not saying a word and the recruit's parent asking ALL the questions. That's a red flag to a coach that the girl depends too much on her parents. The more independent and grown up you are, the more reassured a coach will be that you are ready for the challenge of college athletics. 

6. Don't be afraid to brag on your skills. 

Note: this is different from bragging about your recruiting life on social media. When you speak with a coach, he or she will ask you about yourself. Sometimes it feels awkward to talk about yourself, especially when it's bragging. But don't shy away from this! A coach wants to know how YOU contribute to your team. Yes, it's good to talk about how your team is doing but be prepared to talk about you. How YOU are doing, how YOU are a leader, how YOU love the game. If you're always bashful and talking about the team it's hard for a coach to get to know YOU better. 

7. Don't burn any bridges. 

It's an exciting day to verbally commit to a college. All your hard work has paid off. The first thing you should do after committing is call all the other coaches you were communicating with and let them know you chose another school. Tell them thank you for their interest and wish them the best. The worst thing you can do is let them find out through the grape vine about your commitment to another school. Be respectful to those programs. Let them move on. You never know what could happen and what coaches you could reconnect with down the road. 

 

I hope these tips will help you on your recruiting journey. The overarching theme of recruiting is that it takes work! You can't just put in marginal effort and expect things to work out. The age-old saying is true: you get out of it what you put in.

Phone Calls with College Coaches

How to stand out at a prospect camp

Softball Motivational Video

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Coaches -

I hope that each of you have finished up your semester, got your grades submitted correctly, and have made it home to finish all of your shopping. 

Wanted to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.

This year, I am very thankful for the friendships that I have built with many of you and look forward to meeting and becoming friends with many more of you in the upcoming months.  Relationships with coaches is one of the main reasons I tell my wife I will coach as long as I possibly can, well after "retirement," if I can make it that long.

With that being said, I do consider many of you like family to me.  So, in true family fashion, I wanted to email you all and let you know that Witt, the namesake of Witt's End Softball, is set to be a big brother in May!  We don't know what we are having yet, but we feel blessed to have another child.  I may lean on many of you for advice on how to raise 2 little people while coaching.  

Once again, I hope that each of you has a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!!

Coach Dooley

PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING ONE OF OUR OWN

Angie Hummeldorf, head softball coach at Richmond Hill, lost her husband over Thanksgiving.  

Please consider helping her out in this very difficult time by making a donation and/or praying over her family as often as possible.

Mark Hummeldorf's Family Donation

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Claire Fendig from Glynn Academy on being the first Witt's End Softball Recruit in the 2018 class to make her college commitment.  
Claire will be continuing her softball and educational career at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia.

Why is your WHY important?

Growing up I always knew I wanted to teach and coach. My dad was a high school teacher and coach so I grew up in the environment.  I never gave thought to any other profession.  I knew my WHY. At least I thought I did.  I've been teaching and coaching for 25 years, but it wasn't until 14 years ago that I figured out my WHY.  AND that's when I changed. Especially as a coach. 

 

We were playing softball in Columbus. We had just lost to a team I felt we had no business losing to. I took the girls down the left field line and proceeded to tell them everything THEY had done wrong. There was not one mention of my part in the lose. Right before I turned to walk away I made one last comment to our all-state pitcher and team leader Kristan Glover. The week prior to the game she had just signed a D1 scholarship with Tennessee Tech. I looked at her and said,"you got your scholarship so the heck with the rest of us."  I really don't  know why I said it. I guess in my anger I was trying to light a fire in her. I couldn't have been more wrong. 

 

During the second game of our doubleheader Kristan ended up on third base early in the game.  During that time the opposing coach called time out to make a pitching change. As I turned to go over the game situation with Kristan I noticed she was crying. I walked up to her and asked,"Why are you crying?"  Her response started my journey to figuring out my WHY. 

She turned to me with tears running down her face and said,"Coach, I don't ever want to disappoint you."  Her words pierced my heart. After the inning I went back in the dugout and sat down on my bucket and just stared into space. My assistant coach Ed Williams sat down beside me. He was in the team huddle when I made the comment to Kristan.  "Don't you think you need to go to the pitchers circle and apologize to her?"  He was right. I called time to the umpire and walked to the circle. "Kristan, I'm sorry. I was wrong for what I said to you. I know you give this team everything you have inside you. I was wrong."  I then gave her a big hug and told her I loved her.  I also apologized in front of the team after the game. 

I didn't realize the impact that I had on young people's lives. I didn't realize that I had an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life everyday.  It changed the way I looked at things.  It was time for me to reevaluate WHY I coach. There was a new purpose when I got out of bed every morning.  That purpose was no longer making winning softball games the number one priority.  The number one priority became living a life of significance by using the game of softball to make a difference in young people's lives.

 

If you want to make a difference and live a life of significance, you MUST know your WHY.   I don't care what you do for a living. When your feet hit the floor every morning you better have a purpose for what you do everyday. Start thinking about your PURPOSE!  Once you find your WHY, you will be able to find your WAY.   Once you know your WHY,  the WAY (PURPOSE) will be your yellow brick road. Just follow it and live a life of purpose. 

Remember, WHY is your purpose. WAY is your path.

 

Living out your WHY does 3 things:

 

1-It puts your focus more on others and less on yourself.  In terms of coaching; you throw your EGO out the door.  Your joy and happiness comes from seeing your team experience success.  I can't tell you how great it feels when you witness a group of kids doing something great TOGETHER.  Overcoming adversity together. Doing something that at one time they didn't believe they could do. The WHY in your life leads you to be happier for someone else doing something great than if it were you.  I have an AWESOME picture in my office I look at everyday.  It's a picture of one of my former softball players after she hit a home run. Her name was Rachel Nimmons.  She hit one home run in her high school career and it happened  to be the winning 3-run home run in the Region Championship game. We used to give her extra batting practice cuts at the end of practice just to give her more opportunities to hit a home run.  The picture in my office shows the faces of 17 kids that knew their WHY for playing the game of softball.  Everyone of those kids were so happy for Rachel. They were happier for Rachel than if it had been one of them personally that hit the home run.  

 

2- Living out your why daily gives you a confidence that becomes attractive to others.  Have you ever met a person in life that after you talk to them you just want to get a cup of coffee and pick their brain?  You could just sit and listen to them talk for hours.  I guarantee you that person knows their WHY.  It's that attractive confidence that pulls you in.  I can name several people in my life that drew me in because of the WHY confidence in their life. I knew immediately that this was a person following their yellow brick road. AND I wanted to learn from them. 

 

3-Your WHY and WAY allows you to make a difference everyday.  How awesome is that? Every morning you get out of bed and your feet hit the floor you have the opportunity to make a difference.  Where will my yellow brick road take me today?  Who will I meet today as I walk my yellow brick road? What growth will I experience today as I start my day's journey?  Your WHY and WAY makes you a difference maker everyday!

 

I know some of you are saying,"Well, that sounds great and everything, but let's be realistic.  No one lives their life like that everyday."  I'm here to tell you that there are people that live their life like that everyday.  They are prepared for the negatives that life throws at them.  They know their WHY and their WAY so they are equipped to deal with life's punches in the gut.  Those people get up off the canvas faster and stronger than people that don't know their WHY and WAY. 

Here's a couple of ideas to help you stay the course with your WHY and WAY when you fall down.

 

1-How do I constantly invest in my WHY everyday?  Carry your LIFE of PURPOSE card!  What is your LIFE of PURPOSE card? It's your constant reminder of who you are and what you want to accomplish daily. You need your LIFE of PURPOSE card with you every day to help you deal with negativity, set backs and getting knocked to the ground.  Get an index card and answer three simple questions.  1-define your WHY. Why do I coach?  2-list your core values you want to exemplify everyday and  3- how do you want to be remembered?  

Carry your LIFE of PURPOSE card everywhere you go. Put it in your wallet or purse.  AND when you get knocked to the ground pull it out, read it, then get back in the game!!!!  Remember the old American Express commercial???

Your LIFE of PURPOSE card.....don't leave home without it!

 

2- I carry in my wallet every day a couple of letters from former players. The letters are thank you's from former players.  They are thanking me for making a difference.  I keep them with me not to stroke my ego, but to remind me of the WHY I coach. I often pull the letters out when I get punched in the gut by a negative email ripping my character, or an angry parent criticizing my coaching ability. The letter puts me back in the moment. The letter reminds me of my WHY. The letter gets me back in the game instantly!

 

3- Everyday try to do something for someone that can't repay you.  Perform a Random Act of Kindness.  I promise.....it will make you feel great inside. 

Find your WHY today and live a life of significance.  Everyone has a WHY. What's yours?

 

Garrett Black, Greenbrier High School

Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame Member

Can travel ball and school ball coexist? Lee Kicklighter

As the head softball coach for a high school team, I am very familiar with issues that affect my program, my players and the sport as a whole. One such issue is high school ball and travel team softball organizations.

Recently, I was informed of some planning being organized to get the high school and travel ball coaches together to begin discussing the possibility of the two entities being able to coexist.

For years now, school ball and travel ball have danced around each other in an effort for both sides to benefit from players who compete in both formats.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has delved into coaching on both school ball and travel teams at one time or another. I have coached travel baseball, school baseball and school softball. I profoundly understand the benefits and drawbacks of both.

With this column, I will attempt to address some concerns that I feel may facilitate the cohesion of these two facets of fast-pitch softball.

I don’t believe either is going away anytime soon. The time is coming where we are all going to have to figure out a way to do what is best by the young ladies of this sport.

To begin, let me ask the question — Does anybody believe that school ball and travel ball can even work together at all?

I think there is a way to make it work, but first you have to put everyone on a level playing field.

School ball is regulated by a neutral governing body known as the Georgia High School Association. Some areas regulated by GHSA include the number of games we can play, start times for games, academics and eligibility, recruiting, ejections, mandatory and non-mandatory practices, pre-concussion testing, umpire associations, classifications and the list goes on.

High school softball coaches are subjected to a definitive hierarchy from the athletic side by GHSA.

GHSA, for all intents and purposes, has the health and well-being of the athlete in mind when determining its governing policies both on and off the field.

One example of such governance that will come into effect in 2016 was discussed at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association meeting in January. I was informed of the proposal for GHSA to change the limit of games per season from 28 to 25 because some principals and schools were complaining that softball players missed too many classes.

Other noteworthy points included:

• The coach can be fined by GHSA for ejections and required to sit out a predetermined number of games.

• The coach is responsible for reporting to the principal any issue that may arise during the season, allowing the principal to add discipline at the school level.

• The athletic director can be fined for improper paperwork filed on behalf of the player and the program can be put on “probation,” even if the mistake is self-reported and an honest mistake.

Additionally, a high school coach can be reprimanded to the point of losing his/her teaching certification. Many school ball coaches put their professional careers on the line by making sure they abide by the expectations of the governing bodies.

The travel ball world doesn’t have those risks.

For there to be any hint of school ball and travel ball coinciding, travel ball has to be subjected to a unifying governing body.

I believe that school ball coaches would be willing to come to the table for discussion purposes, but they are going to want to see some sanctioning and limitations from the travel ball world.

In my opinion, several issues can be resolved or can be worked through if there were more unification, organization and accountability on the travel ball side.

Everyone who has a stake in this issue knows that I am not touching half or even a quarter of the issues on this topic, either for and against. I hope to follow up with later guest editorials in regards to the “state of the possible union” between travel ball and school ball.

Lee Kicklighter is the head softball coach and an assistant baseball coach at Union Grove High School.

Henry Herald Article

 

Mentor Leadership

This comes to you courtesy of one of my mentors, Garrett Black, Greenbrier High School.

As you build your leadership skills it's important to remember that WHY you lead is as important as whom you lead.  Leadership should be focused on benefiting others. It's easy to get caught up into today's rat race and merely use leadership for your own personal tool that only benefits only you.  Somewhere along the way society has switched the price tags of value; giving value to the valueless while undervaluing what's most important. Leadership should be based on building significance into the lives of others. Mentor leadership is where our focus should be. It's the leadership that endures. It's the leadership that is based on living a life of significance. It's the leadership that allows us to extend our positive influence through other people. It allows us to leave our legacy through the lives of the people we have the opportunity to touch everyday.  During this softball season I have been reminded of WHY I coach. It's mentor leadership. 

Often this softball season I found myself focusing just on winning. Winning became the most important thing to me early on during the season. I think some of it had to do with we were not winning and we were struggling in areas that I wasn't used to dealing with in all my years of coaching Fastpitch Softball. It even stressed me to the point to thinking maybe it's time for me to get out of coaching.  Well, I'm back on track now thanks to one of my softball players....Megan Blackwell. 

Megan came into our program four years ago as a young lady who had no confidence in herself.  She had self doubt. Her work habits were average at best. She had no toughness about herself.  Her body language didn't whisper but screamed "I don't believe in myself."  I remember thinking, "this kid won't make it four years in our program."  Her junior year she finally cracked the starting lineup as our designated hitter, but it was an up and down season because of her lack of confidence.  Our coaching staff stayed on her throughout the summer. Megan started to sell out to our once a week mental conditioning sessions.  You could start to see a change in a positive direction for Megan.  Midway through her senior season we were struggling defensively and our coaching staff decided to move Megan to catcher for leadership purposes.   A risky move on our part being that the catcher is the one position on the field that MUST carry confidence with them no matter how things are going.  It's also the one position on the field that we demand extreme ownership and leadership.  

Two weeks into our experiment with Megan behind the plate we were attempting to take a perfect round of infield/outfield at practice.  Ask any player that's been through our program. It's tough!  Especially for the catcher.  It's the one position that is involved in something every time the ball is put into play.  On this day it was an extremely hot 95 degrees and we were struggling mentally as a team.  We ended up having to start the round over at least 15 times. Three of those times were when we had almost achieved a perfect round. The round lasted an hour and half, but Megan didn't quit.  In fact, she got stronger every time we started over.  She lead our team with enthusiasm, passion, strong work ethic, and CONFIDENCE.  This was NOT the same young lady that walked on our field four years earlier. This was a kid that had developed a toughness that was becoming contagious to the rest of the team. I remember how her play inspired me. It fired me up.  I was really proud of Megan in that moment.  It hit me right then, I had been focusing on the undervaluing part of my job instead of focusing on the real value of my job, and that's making a difference everyday. After we finally finished the perfect round I remember telling our coaching staff, "that's why we coach."  Yes we want to win, but developing kids to be better people by using the game of softball to equip our young ladies with life skills is much more important. 

It was the persistence of our coaching staff mentoring Megan everyday, never taking a day off.  Our staff was thinking long term goal instead of short term goal. Our coaching staff saw potential in this young lady and they strived everyday to develop Megan into the player and person they knew she could be.  I say it a lot, but I'm so blessed to be surrounded by coaches that exemplify mentor leadership on a daily basis. Because of their persistence we have a young lady that will be graduating from high school this year ready to conquer the world. And guess what......Megan believes she can!

Think about the people in your life that helped define who you are. They left a legacy through mentor leadership. In whatever setting you find yourself on a daily basis, you should always strive to build the lives around you. Whether you own your own business, have a leadership position at your job, have a role in our community, or simply your role as a mother or father; the opportunity to influence the ones around you is always there. Leave a legacy through mentor leadership.  Mentor leadership starts with your heart. 

I would like to close by simply saying,"Thank you Megan Blackwell for reminding me why I coach."  

#PlayLikeHouse

This is from coach Charlie Biles at Jackson High School.  Please keep the family and the entire Jackson Community in your prayers as they go through this tough time.

As a coach, I never thought I would have to go through what I have the past week. On Monday, one of our softball players, Kaitlyn House, was involved in an automobile accident. After several days of fighting, She went to be with the Lord. She was a rising junior and only 16 years old. She was a starter last year as a sophomore and expected to be a leader this year. She was an incredible person. She was energetic, hard worker, team clown, team dancer and a joy that picked everyone up. She impacted everyone in the Jackson community. She was well loved by all students at Jackson High School. Please continue to pray for the House family, the Jackson Community, the Jackson High School Students and the Jackson softball players and coaches as we deal with this tragic loss. Kaitlyn will be missed but not forgotten. Thank you.

#PlayLikeHouse

Newsletter - You care.

“They don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care” - Pat Summitt

 

Coaches care.  Coaches care about their players.  Coaches care about winning.  Coaches care about making a difference.  They care so much that they spend time away from their families because they feel like what they are doing makes a difference.  Not just a difference in wins and losses, but an actual difference in the lives of the players they coach.

 

I was in church a few weeks ago and Pastor Tony (@TonyVismor @GraceAthens) was doing a series on generosity.  I would love to recite as much as I could from this sermon, but I could not do it justice the way Pastor Tony did.  As he spoke, I started jotting down notes for this newsletter because I felt the message was perfect for coaches.  

 

Coach Summitt’s quote has always stood out to me.  You don’t have to tell your players you care.  They know.  When I was a young coach, I was often guilty of reminding my players that I cared about them after I got on to them pretty good about something.  “This hurts me more than it hurts you….This is for your own good….I am only getting on to ya’ll because I care about you.”  I would even tell them the things I was missing in my life because of coaching, in order to show them how much I cared.  Looking back, I would have kicked my former self in the rear end because I can hear myself saying it and all it sounded like was whining and that my job was more of a burden than something I enjoyed.

 

Pastor Tony reminded me of all of this on that Sunday.  Our church's motto is “Worship, Connect, Serve.”  I have often wondered what is the best way that I can serve.  As I have gotten to know coaches throughout the state, many coaches have expressed to me that the reason they coach is to serve God.  “Coaching is my ministry,” said Coach Marco Jackson at Stephenson.

 

I think many coaches believe this although many have not expressed it before.  As I have gotten older and my relationship with God has greatly improved from when I started coaching, I would also now say that one of the best ways for me to serve God is through coaching.

 

Give Joyfully.  Coach Joyfully.  

 

Give Selflessly.  Coach Selflessly.

 

Give Willingly.  Coach Willingly.

 

Give Thankfully.  Coach Thankfully.

 

Give Intentionally.  Coach Intentionally.

 

Regardless of your reasoning to coach, if you do these 5 things on a regular basis for your kids (which I have no doubt you all do), then they will know you care.  And when a player knows that you truly care about them, they will run through a wall for you.  They will work harder for you.  They will be a better teammate for you.  They will pass along the lessons they have learned from you.  They will call you years after graduation to tell you how they are doing.  They will invite you to weddings.  They will send you pictures of their kids.  They will care.

 

Because you did.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  2 Corinthians 9:6

Newsletter - Why do you coach?

Why do you coach?  This is the time of year that I start hearing from coaches who are thinking about not doing it again next year.  You just got done with Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  New Year's Eve.  You had a lot of time to spend with family.  You had a lot of time to yourself to do the other things that you enjoy.  Reading.  Hunting.  Knitting.  Painting.  Praying.  Biking.  You start thinking to yourself, I could do this all of the time.  Why don't I?  Some people decide to hang it up.  Others will hang on for another year and start to think about these things more and more until finally after a couple of years of thinking about it, they finally call it quits because they forgot about why they did it in the first place.

It is my hope in writing this that those of you facing these same thoughts can remember why you coach.  Remember ALL of the reasons that you coach by hearing from others why they coach.........in case there were reasons that you had forgotten about.

Anonymous - For exactly what happened this past season.  To see a group of young ladies come together, support and appreciate each other, grow as individuals and as a team, and work together to succeed and reach their goal of being 1 of 8 teams to compete for a state championship.

Randi Rea (ACE) - I coach because I want to witness and experience these girls living out what it means to love this beautiful game.

Zach Graham (Alexander)I coach because I am a father. I coach to teach life lessons. I coach because I love building relationships. I coach because there is no greater platform to learn than in sports and on a ball field. I coach to inspire but most of all I coach because I have been coached by some of the greatest people I know. They are my mentors, leaders, listeners, fathers, and colleagues. I feel the need to pass this along to my girls the way life was passed to me!

Troy Pirkle (Allatoona) - I coach so I can hopefully make a difference in a kid's life.  I enjoy watching them learn the game and life skills they progress through HS and what they eventually become as adults.  I just want to have an impact.

Michelle Jones (Berrien) - I coach because I get to be involved in the passion, direction and the development of an athlete not only on the field but off the field as well!

Amy Pointer (Bremen) - I coach because I want to help my kids know they can live up to the high expectations placed upon them, and that by working hard to reach the goals we set, they can learn they are strong, powerful and capable young women who will become great mama's, awesome wives, and outstanding people who will make this world a better place.

Al Butler (Bryan County) - I began teaching for all of the wrong reasons.  I wanted to coach the game I loved with higher skilled athletes than the recreation department could offer.  So teaching seemed to be a great fit.  After just one year of teaching it became so much more than athletics.  I became a TEACHER first and coach second.  Working in my hometown, teaching and coaching the children of my friends and family make this profession much more than it has ever been before.  At this point in my life the game is still a selfish obsession of mine but the lessons learned on our field of play fall well beyond the scope of the game.  I enjoy what I do and feel like every day I have the opportunity to prepare our young minds to be champions of life outside of the sport just as much as it prepares them to be champions on the field.  Winning on the field is fun, but seeing these young people be successful in life after sports is more than rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

Tony Wolfe (Buford) - I started coaching in 1983 because I loved sports, but I have remained in coaching all these years because I love kids and trying to be a positive influence in their lives.

Lee Smoak (Burke County) - I coach because I love helping kids reach their full potential.  After all, how many people can say they reached their full potential in anything?  

Diane Smith (Calhoun) - I coach because of my competitive spirit in me and seeing young people grow and develop.

Lisa Phillips (Carrollton) - My passion is to love my players by teaching them life skills through the game of softball! That's what inspires me to coach!

Dave McKenna (Central, Carroll) - Guiding young players toward excellence to achieve their goals, and seeing them enjoy the sport as much as I do is the reason I choose to coach.

Mickey Harper (Chapel Hill) - I coach because God put me in a position to use the sport I love to help mold young people, develop character and share my faith!

Tonya Carlisle (Cherokee) - I coach to help kids reach their potential and help them achieve their dreams; as an added bonus the relationships with all involved in this great sport are priceless.

Jamie Wilson (Columbus) - I coach because I love to inspire the girls on my team to be the best that they can be on and off the field!

Scott Ray (Cook) - I have thought about this many times and the best answer I can give is that this is where God has put me right now and this is what he wants me to do.  I used to say it was because I love the kids or the game or I can just change lives but all of that is just smoke.  I all truth God uses us in his way and we need to say that publicly.

Chance Cain (Creekview) - To add value to oneself and to teach life lessons through the participation in sport.

Dawn Marsh (Duluth) - Teach discipline, create loyalty, motivate/build hard work ethic, show tough love and always be their for my players to give them real love from my heart!!!

Donnie Byrom (East Jackson) - I coach for the relationships and to use any God given talents I might have to try to impact lives.

Matt Huntley (Effingham) - I coach because I love the comradery and relationships that are developed between myself and the players and other coaches.

Garrett Black (Greenbrier) - Great question!!  One that every coach should answer every year at the beginning of the season.  Heck, write it in the bill of your hat.  I'm older now so it's a little clearer but there are still times where I can easily find myself consumed or focused solely on winning.  You find those moments with kids and situations every year that reminds you WHY you coach.  If kids are giving you relentless effort and are playing selflessly then you shouldn't keep looking at the scoreboard.  I coach to make a positive difference in someone's life.  And I want it to be daily!  I keep going back to the young lady that spoke on behalf of Tonya Sebring at the HOF ceremony.  She said, "Coach, thanks for making a difference in my life when I needed someone."  She didn't thank her for teaching her to bunt.  Didn't thank her for teaching her how to run the bases.  She thanked her for having a positive influence in her life.  Our job is to prepare these kids for the game of life.  (We had Navy Seals in with our baseball team this evening so I'm fired up)

Mike Leveritt (Harlem) - I love what I do and I love making a difference in these young ladies' lives.

Brooke Zuerner (Harris County) - I coach originally because of my love for the game and competition, but I continue to coach because of the opportunity coaching affords me to minister to my girls and to help them learn to trust God's plan for their life which will reveal who they really are and what's really important in life!  Our team mottos are #TrustThePlan and #TigerFaith!  

Duane Turner (Heritage, Conyers) - I guess the bottom line is I do it because it brings me joy to help young people reach their potential.  Sports have always been a part of my life and made me the man I am today.  Coaching is my way of giving back.

Angela Crawford (Houston County) - Building community pride and involvement, developing relationships while playing the game we all love.

Blake Lyons (Jones County) - I love the sport, the competition, and the kids.

Lisa Chapman (Kennesaw Mountain) - To make a positive impact on young people's lives by teaching them how to compete on and off the field and in life.

Tony Ellis (Lakeview, Fort Oglethorpe) - I coach to help kids because I had some great coaches that made a difference in me!

Ryan Hill (Lanier) - The money. Duh. I coach to help young women become the best they can be in the game they love and in life.

Rob Brunell (Lanier County) - I coach because I truly love the game and all of the players past and present that have entered my life and programs.

Stewart Thomas (Lowndes) - I coach with the hope that one day my players will become better parents, spouses, and citizens because they came through my program.

Paul Pierce (Mill Creek) - Some of the most influential people in my life were my coaches.  I pray I am helping develop lifelong skills in my players as well.

Jason McBay (Morgan County) - Every season is a blank canvas, by arranging all the pieces correctly, you can paint your masterpiece.  I coach for the moments when players realize for the first time, something you've seen in them all along!

Randy Black (North Gwinnett) - Having the opportunity to see the growth and perseverance of young people through triumph and defeat is one of the most rewarding experiences.

Brooke Russell (North Hall) - I coach so that I can be part of something that taught me so much about my life in hopes that I may do the same for someone else.

Brandon Jenkins (Northside, Columbus) - To hopefully make a difference in someone's life just like my high school coaches made in mine.

Jason Brooker (Northwest Whitfield) - Because of the joy I get out of seeing kids play for each other and not themselves.

Justin Bishop (Parkview) - I coach because I love seeing the "light bulb" come on for a kid that's learned something, seeing them reap the rewards of their hard work, and seeing them 5 to 10 years later as successful adults.

Chris Turco (Pope) - To have the opportunity to teach today's youth the process for how to chase down big time dreams.

Ronnie Davis (South Forsyth) - To build relationships that stand the test of the good times and the tough times.

Marco Jackson (Stephenson) - Coaching is my ministry! I enjoy helping young people and paying it forward because coaches did it for me growing up in a single mom household.

Ashley Todd (Tattnall) - To help kids improve at the game they love to play.  You can learn more than just how to play the game.  You learn how to get along with others, to deal with wins and losses not only in the game, but in life!

Joey Hiller (Tattnall Square Academy) - I coach because I love the game, love competing, and love having a positive impact on the lives of young people, teaching life lessons through sport.  I thank God every day that I get the opportunity to do what I love.

Lee Kicklighter (Union Grove) - Humbly speaking, I coach because I feel like I have so much to give to the game and I owe it to the players to help them get better at the game and at life.

Brad Thompson (Vidalia) - I coach because I was inspired by my high school baseball coach, GADC Hall of Famer, Greg James, to teach life lessons to kids in our community through a game.

Dave Madray (Wayne County) - In addition to being a part of something much bigger than myself, coaching allows me to positively impact the lives of many while satisfying my inner drive to compete.

Brent McGuire (Westminster) - I coach for the ever-lasting relationships that are created, and to have a positive impact in the lives of those that I serve.

Monty McClure (Winder-Barrow) - I coach because I want to see players reach their potential and goals.

Kaleb Hathcock (Worth County) - I coach to make a difference in a kid's life.

Never forget ANY of the reasons you do what you do.  They may not be the same now as they were when you started, but that just shows your growth as a person and a coach.  You DO make a difference.  Keep fighting the good fight.

Upcoming Events

Send softball equipment to the Dominican with Tessa Daniels!!!

Information coming soon on how you can send your gently used softball equipment and gear to the Dominican Republic with FSU World Series Champion and former Buford Wolf Tessa Daniels!!  Click here to find out more about Tessa!

IT'S SOFTBALL SEASON!!!!!

Please send me your tournament schedules so I can add them to the website!  BillyDooley20@gmail.com

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