Through the first few games of our very first tournament of the year, I felt unsure of myself. When asked by a colleague how I felt about the first day of games, I could honestly say that I was proud of my girls and felt they were improving. It didn’t matter that we lost (by a lot)– the teams we had played were better than us because they had been playing together for months. The only thing that I felt uncomfortable with was figuring out what my role should be on game day.

I knew I didn’t want to coach third base, because our other coach was simply better at it and I like to look more big picture as opposed to the current moment. So I tried coaching first base and took notes on things I saw that could be improved. But that didn’t feel quite right either. Finally, I decided I would stay in the dugout so I could have more time to pull girls aside and help them work on small things if I observed something during the game. This was the job for me! I could sit back, analyze the situation, and work closely with the girls.

The lesson I learned was how important it is to let go of your ego and find the role that fits you and the team best. I always viewed base coaches as having the most impact on the game. They’re out there, helping the girls, in the spotlight… As it turns out, that was just my ego talking. I thought I would be considered more important if I were coaching on the field. In reality, I was much more effective and helpful in my new role. It goes to show that sometimes we need to set aside assumptions and expectations and just do what’s right for the team.

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