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What It Feels Like To Act The Part

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Softball has been in my family for many generations, so I was bound to be involved in it one way or another. My dad coached college softball, my mom was an assistant coach in college, my sister played travel and high school ball and my uncle is even in the Illinois Hall of Fame for coaching with over 500 wins.

I can’t really imagine my life without softball; it has been around ever since I was little. I started playing baseball when I was five years old, and I played on various travel teams. I also played in high school, but stopped my junior year. I first got started with softball through umpiring, and worked my way up from there. I began coaching about 12 years ago, and it has consumed most of my life ever since.

From travel to high school teams, I’ve been a part of a bunch. Right now, and ever since 2011, I have been the head coach of the Antioch Varsity softball team. Outside of that, I coach a team called Northern Ice out of Wauconda, Illinois.

When the high school season starts around March every year, I am coaching almost every day for about three months. Between practices and games, I am with the team almost every day of the week except for Sundays. Once high school season ends, I jump straight into travel ball season, which lasts for about three months. We practice a couple of times a week and participate in tournaments pretty regularly over the summer time.

When I’m coaching there is a lot of pressure. When I am in the softball environment, I am definitely a lot more serious than when I am just at home doing everyday things. Sometimes when I am coaching I get a little nervous, especially this season because we have such a good program. I always want to make sure that we are doing everything in our power as a team to win those games that are important. I am also very cognizant of the health and well-being of my players. I want to make sure that everyone is doing what they can to avoid injuries, and improving and performing to the best of their abilities.

I would say that my personality during softball and at home is pretty similar. I like to joke around and have fun wherever I am, but setting a focused, somewhat intense example at softball is important. I like to get things done, and I like to do them right.

For me, it’s all analytical. I’m very meticulous when it comes to practices, drills and choosing the best lineup for games. Numbers are a big part of the game, and I take full advantage of them. I try my best to keep things very fair and rather light, and keep feelings out of it.

However, when I am not at softball, it’s a totally different story. I am way more relaxed and easy going. I enjoy playing with my dog, hanging out with my girlfriend and cruising on the lake in my boat in the summertime. I even still play video games even though I’m old, and of course I like hanging out with my friends. I do a lot of the same stuff that the kids like to do.

It is actually pretty interesting thinking about these differences. One day at practice someone got hurt. Of course, my stress levels went up because I wanted to make sure that she was going to be okay. It was all pretty intense, I was a little frantic. However, when I got home a little later, I got to just relax and unwind for a little bit. Then I had to go back to school to take care of uniforms for other teams. That is always a little hectic, but overall when I am in softball mode I have learned to handle these stressful situations pretty well, whether they be on the field or off the field just tackling the little details.

The intense coaching lifestyle has made me appreciate my leisurely, relaxing at-home lifestyle even more. My house is like my safe haven, a little place to just slow down and loosen up. At this point in my life, home is where a lot of my smaller responsibilities are, and my larger ones lie within coaching softball and the workplace.

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What It Feels Like To Act The Part