This post is by Coach Sue Enquist, who holds more national championships than anyone in the history of softball. She is UCLA Softball’s first All-American, National Champion, and Hall of Famer. Sue completed her career as head coach of the UCLA Bruins as the winningest softball coach among all active coaches, and has been called a “coaching legend” by ESPN.
In this post, Sue writes about microbehaviors, the small things college coaches pay attention to in softball players and their families.
What behavior at the ballpark coaches want from recruits
Today we’re talking about behavior at the ballpark. As a family, when you roll into the parking lot just know that college coaches are listening and watching the entire time.
It’s almost as though the recruiting starts the moment you open the car door.
So, we can be mindful of how we speak to one another. For our student-athlete, we’re looking for that girl who’s really respectful, kind; respectful to your parents and kind to your siblings.
What coaches want to see in potential softball players
As we get to the ballpark, we’re watching how you warm up. Are you purposeful in your warm-up? Are you taking care of your equipment? How do you handle your equipment? Are your throws crisp, accurate?
We always played a game at UCLA where we would try to throw within the four corners of our partners. And what that means is the shoulders and the hip bones make a square, and our goal was always to hit the center of the square. That might help you be a little more focused in the warm-ups.
Sue will be discussing what coaches are really looking for in a defense skills video in a webinar this Sunday. There are still spots available — register now.
What coaches want to see in parents of potential athletes
Mom and Dad, when you’re sitting in the stands, remember science tells us that technical instruction does not actually help the athlete prior to trying to execute the skill. And we find that it’s probably best just to shout out positive affirmation.
Just a reminder: college coaches frown upon yelling at the umpire. We call them the “human element.” We have such high standards for that umpire, don’t we? I expected that umpire to be 100% correct. So maybe we can just be mindful about how we prepare as a parent, how we speak, how we act in the stands because we’re also being recruited and evaluated — just as you’re evaluating those college coaches that are sitting in the stands as well.
And last, don’t forget when you’re waiting in line for the concession stand, we’re right there behind you, taking in all that conversation.
At the end of the day, have a blast out there. But just be mindful: We’re watching and we’re listening, just as you’re doing the same with us.
Good luck, have fun, and get one percent better today.
Our scouts can help you improve in your game, and we can help you celebrate your successes on our digital platform. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.
Photo credit: (Flickr – David Poe)