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Stephen Willett's
Fastpitch Softball

Personal Rants and Raves
You never know what you'll find in here...

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Eyes Line

These, I thought were timeless...


It's all about attitude...

I snagged this little ditty off of some time back. I forget who the contributor was, so I'll just say thank you.

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him.

Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins."

Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, "He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Parents - Involvement Or Interference

- excerpted from the article by Dr. Moe Gelbart in FASTPITCH WORLD - August '96

  1. Don't go into the dugout to give instructions.
    The girls have coaches, and they have worked hard on developing cohesion and a mental attitude toward the game. Yelling out tips, advice, correction, or criticism will in no way improve your daughter's performance. The same principle holds true in yelling out advise from the sidelines. Keep in mind, the content and accuracy of the information is not the issue. Help not asked for is criticism. If your daughter has not asked for your advise, then don't give it.
  2. Don't question the coach's decisions during or between games.
    As a parent, you have a right to your opinion regarding playing time, attitude, criticism, etc. However, I recommend the 24 hour rule - speak to the coach 24 hours after the game. By then, the dust has settled, tempers have cooled, and saner heads prevail. At that time, be specific as to your concerns. Beginning at approximately 14 years old, I believe it is important for you to empower your daughters, and teach them to take care of their own needs. Rather than speak for them, encourage them to speak up for themselves.
  3. Don't make a spectacle of yourself during the game.
    Loud and rude comments to umpires, opposing coaches, or even opponents may seem humorous to you, but your daughter is cringing in the dugout with embarrassment. Always keep in mind that you are a role model, and act on the field the way you would want your child to behave.
  4. Don't tell your daughter everything she has done wrong on the ride home from the game.
    Trust me, this is not what is considered quality time and sharing. You may thing it is helpful, but she feels criticized. In addition, she already knows that the error she made in the seventh inning that allowed the winning run to score was not good, and does not need to be reminded of it by you.
  1. Always be positive.
    Learn to encourage, not criticize. If you don't have something good to say, don't say it.
  2. Be a parent, not an agent.
    Talk to your daughter regarding her concerns, and help her to learn to take care of most issues herself. Rather that criticize coaches and players, and make excuses for herself, take the excellent opportunity to teach her how to cope with adversity. Don't make lists of demands for the coaches to follow.
  3. Spend time practicing at home.
    In the years to come, you will both treasure the memories of tossing the ball around, much more so than of victories and losses.
  4. Volunteer your time.
    Ask the coach how you can help, and follow his/her direction. Your daughter will appreciate your positive involvement, and be proud to have you as part of her team.
  5. Attend games and cheer.
    As I have stated on many occasions, we must always keep in mind that positive self esteem is the primary goal of sports, not [just] winning or losing.


- End of Excerpt

(Yeah, I know I'm guilty of some of this stuff - But, food for thought ya'know...)

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