Written By Shannon Murry
Ball in my hand, mud on my cleats, and adrenaline in my veins…sounds like softball to me! There is no greater role that I would be honored to play than a fastpitch softball player. That was until I became a fastpitch softball coach. Then I found two roles that bring me twice the happiness. My name is Shannon Murray and I am going to take you on a journey to the center of coaching.
After playing softball for 14 years, I couldn’t find a more appropriate way to give back to the sport that gave me everything than by coaching it. This is my first season as a college coach but my 8th year coaching those much younger. As a first year college coach fresh out of college I anticipate many adjustments and lessons to learn. No matter where my journey will take me or how I start out, I will always reflect and be grateful for the people that got me here.
Being softball players, we would be no where without the support and dedication of those that surrounded our athletic environments for however many years we played. As I begin the next step of my journey as a college softball coach I am more grateful than ever for the people that sat in the stands, tossed me balls to hit, believed in me and told me “you can”. I had coaches, friends, family and teammates that believed in me somewhere along the way. I couldn’t think of a better picture to add with this post than my number one supporters who got me all the way. With that said players, this one’s for you.
Don’t ever forget where you came from. Don’t forget about the people that got you there. Remember to thank your mom and dad for coming after a long day of tournament play is over. Tell the coaches that mean the most to you that they matter. As a player, I always told these special people how grateful I was for them. Now as a coach, I truly understand the rewarded feeling a coach can receive from hearing a player tell you that I got them somewhere. It makes me want to be better, train harder, learn more and go above and beyond my coaching requirements…with pleasure. I don’t mind skipping out on something else to go give a girl a lesson. Being a softball coach makes me forget that it’s a job because it doesn’t really feel like one. I feel few people these days can say that they 100% enjoy their job and everything that comes with it. Thanks to those people that guided and supported me along the way, I have the privilege of waking up each morning enthusiastic to go to the “office”…or for us the ball field.
So players, no matter how old you are or where you are in your softball experience, saying a simple “Thanks for believing in me,” can have more power than the energy it took to say the words. Coaches are there for YOU. We are there to make YOU better. We want to see YOU succeed. So instead of it being about you once, make it about THEM. Tell your coaches, parents and other supporters that you wouldn’t be there without them. Because honestly, I know I would most definitely not. They were huge stepping stones and directions in my journey to the center of coaching.
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