This article is written by Amanda Scarborough. Amanda is a former Texas A&M softball player, ESPN softball analyst, coach, and motivational speaker. I came across her amazing content on Facebook where student-athletes and parents were sharing her blogs weekly. After reading her content and learning how her mission aligns directly with NCSA Athletic recruiting. I encourage all inspiring college athlete to connect with her on Facebook
Amanda’s blog post, “How Do You Get ‘The Look'” is written about softball, but can be applied to anything and everything. Any athlete can relate to and benefit from this post. Whether you play soccer, football, field hockey, volleyball, etc. this applies to you.
Regardless of how hard you throw, how you swing or how much movement you have, you should have a certain look about you. No, I’m not talking about makeup, or headbands or uniform color. I’m talking about how YOU look from the inside out.
When should this look happen? All. The. Time. – at practice, in games, walking up to the ballpark, at lessons, warming up.
“The look” will eventually become a part of your every day life, even outside of softball. The Look will be something you feel at school walking down the hall, or walking into a room where maybe you don’t know anyone. (That is when The Look REALLY matters even more… when softball is done).
NO MATTER WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON, YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE LOOOK IN YOUR BACK POCKET. YOU OWN IT, NOBODY ELSE DOES.
Best thing about “The Look” is that it’s free. You can’t buy it with makeup or a designer top. It’s not about those things. The Look is priceless, but it pays off in so many different ways.
Sooo… what is she talking about? Where should you start if you’ve never thought about the look before?
Lets start with getting out of the car at the ballpark. Think about your look as your two feet hit the ground from getting out of the car. Grab your bat bag out of the car confidently. This is where it can begin. Walk confidently. Keep fidgeting to a minimum. Walk with your eyes open and have a soft focus in front of you. IF someone is walking with you or comes up to talk to you, look them right in the eye when they are talking. When you walk into the ballpark confidently, you set the tone for how you’re going to approach your game(s) that day – composed and poised.
Soon, “The Look” will be something you don’t have to think about anymore. “The Look” is just something you will do; it will become a habit. It’s something you want to do because you notice the response you get from other people around you – teammates, adults, friends. They will look at you differently; they will talk to you differently. They may even be a little bit more intimidated to go up against you if they are on the other team. This is exactly what you want. You want to win the unspoken confidence battle before a pitch is even thrown in the game. You want to be one step ahead of everybody else. That’s exactly where you like to be. One step ahead is how you play your game.
You’re warming up with your team now. Still represent the way you want to look even if your teammates and friends don’t have the look yet. They will. Soon. Once they see what you can accomplish with The Look.
YOU’RE CONFIDENT, BUT HUMBLE. YOU’RE EAGER, BUT CALM. YOU FEEL PREPARED. YOU’RE HAVING FUN, BUT YOU’RE FOCUSED.
If you’re warming up in the bullpen, you’re not constantly messing with your hair or pulling on your uniform. You’re not showing emotions after every pitch – good or bad. If someone walked up and just watched your body language, they would never be able to tell if you were having a good warm up or a bad warm up. You want to be consistent with “the look”. How you play will have ups and downs, but “the look” doesn’t know the difference.
You’re content with exactly how you feel and you’re remembering to stay where your feet are. No matter how warmed up, it’s your job to have “The look” if it’s the best warm up or the worst warm up – “the look” doesn’t know the difference between a good warm up and a bad warm up. Every day will feel different, but “the look” should feel un-phased.
It’s game time. Your teammates look at you and they feel more confident just because they see it in your eyes every time you catch the ball back from your catcher that you’re beyond assured in what you are doing in the circle, and you believe in yourself. You aren’t scared to look your teammates in the eyes out in the field, point a finger at them an say, “Hey, we got this.” Your eyes are up. Your shoulders are back. Your focus is on your team and your catcher. As a hitter, your teammates can tell you are focused and collected when you’re at bat in the box. They will strive to have the same presence and confidence as you when they go up to the plate. In return, they will begin to have better ABs after following your lead.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, win, loss, completely game, getting pulled in the first inning, it has no effect on “the look”. “The look” knows no result. “The look” only believes in you and the abilities that are within you. “The look” doesn’t remember what happened last time you played. It only knows the future. It only knows chasing after your dreams in a way that is professional, mature, and determined.
THE LOOK KNOWS NO AGE. BEST THING ABOUT THE LOOK IS THAT IT HAS NO BOUNDARIES. IT DOESN’T KNOW LOCATION. THE LOOK ONLY KNOWS YOU.
I CHALLENGE you to be aware and practice “the look”. Take pride in every single thing that you do. All of your movements should have a look of confidence, posture and poise about you. From tying your shoes to the way you take a deep breath before every pitch you throw. When you walk into a room, make your presence known. Not because you are the loudest one in the room with your voice, but because your presence alone before even saying a word, speaks volumes about the way you feel about yourself. Remember, “the look” is from the inside out.
Most importantly, the look is yours; it is no one’s to take from you – not your parents, not your coaches, not your significant other, not your teammates, and definitely not the other team. “The look” means you are in control of your emotions. “The look” can take on anything thrown at her and know that at the end of the day, YOU belong. But before others believe it, YOU have to believe it.
IF YOU DON’T FEEL CONFIDENT ENOUGH YET TO HAVE THE LOOK, FAKE IT. FAKE IT UNTIL YOU GROW INTO IT, BECAUSE I PROMISE, YOU WILL GROW INTO IT.
Even faking the confidence will feel good and you will be amazed at the results it will produce for you. The best thing about “the look” is that it is free. “The Look” can start when you are ready. Everyone has “the look” inside of them, some have just already decided for “the look” to join them in their every day lives. If you don’t have it yet… it’s only a matter of time.
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