Change is Good

If you want to keep receiving what you are presently receiving, just keep doing what you are presently doing and things will stay the same. But the key to the success or failure of a person is their adaptability and willingness to change to achieve a stated purpose. It should seem obvious if we continue to do what we are presently doing we will keep getting the same results we have been getting. But, I find most people are unwilling to change their life even though they know a change would be good for them. Learning new things takes time and our determination or our lack thereof can be a factor in how fast we pick things up. But, once the change has been made and accepted, it then becomes a matter of tweaking the process until it becomes as familiar to us as the old way of doing things.

For example, I decided to sponsor and coach a men’s slow pitch softball team this year because I have a son and daughter who are extremely talented softball players. And, yes, my daughter plays on a men’s slow pitch team, and yes, she can hold her own and is better than a lot of the men who play. I didn’t have any trouble finding players because my son and daughter know every good softball player in the area, but what I had trouble with was convincing these guys if we played a new style of defense we could overwhelm every team we played. My infield defense comes with a predetermined number of feet between the first line of defense and the outfielders. What this defense does is take away balls that would normally be hits and turns them into outs. When the opposing teams realize they can’t penetrate our defense like they have done to teams in the past, it forces them into doing things they aren’t used to doing and before long you see their heads hanging because they are confused about how to attack our defense. As I said, when I first employed this defense, my guys hee-hawed around and didn’t really want to do it because it was foreign to them. They did it because they were playing on my dime, and when I pay and they want to play it will be done my way. No, if, and’s, or buts, about it. After twenty-four games no one including the undefeated champion for the past three years has come close to defeating us. Now, my guys and two girls are beginning to understand how good this defense is.

What the defense does is cut a swath of about a hundred feet out of the middle of the outfield all the way around the diamond which limits the other team batters to a single which we don’t mind because we throw them out at the next base when the next batter comes to the plate. We have taken away the power alleys along with this 100 feet of area that used to be singles and doubles territory which produced a lot of runs. Now these areas are nothing but an out and the dimensions on our field is 320/345/320. The Thrasher defense will work even better on a small field where we can cover anything inside the fences. Now back to my story – if the other teams want more than a single on our large field they have to hit the ball off the fence or out of the park neither of which makes any difference to us since the number of home runs a team can hit is limited. The opposing teams runs scored have dropped from around fifteen or twenty a game a year ago to under five when those teams play us. As any team knows any time you can cut a teams run production by fifty percent or more, you stand a good chance of winning that game. Last week, we held the past three years undefeated seasons champion to two runs scored, and last night we held the number two team this year to one run and three hits. They were so embarrassed they didn’t want the scores posted in the local paper. It is not our intention to embarrass any of the other teams. Our objective is to win, and there have been times we have let up on the other teams so they wouldn’t be embarrassed. What our system does to the other team is let them know they need to make some changes in the way they play the game if they want to continue to be competitive like they have been in the past. I’m sure they will figure it out just like I did. Then it will be our turn to make some changes to compensate for their changes, but that is how life operates. We learn to adapt or we get left behind.

Did I tell you my players are now believers in my system. At the start of the season, I heard it wouldn’t work from my players, my wife, the fans, everyone, but that didn’t deter me; and as my players have gotten used to playing it after umpteen times of me explaining how it worked to them, everybody including my wife is now on board. As I stated in the first paragraph, once a change has been made and accepted, then it is only a matter of tweaking the process from time to time to work out any kinks that might be in it. But, once the kinks have been removed the new plan will run as smooth as a newly tuned engine.

I have said this before in my blogs that I am an observer of people. As I have travelled around from tournament to tournament watching my son and daughter play softball the last few years, I would watch hit after hit go through the infield defense and think what would I do differently to plug those holes in the defense and put a stop to this circus if I was coaching them? Then one night I had a thought about the defensive alignment of a football team and its purpose. I am not a football fan so I don’t know anything about the game, but I understood the concept of the defensive line and the purpose it served. Using my brilliant analytical mind, LOL, I said to myself, “If this will work in football, why would it not work in softball if I tweaked the process?” So, I put the idea down on paper, ran it by my son and my daughter’s boy friend. At first, they looked at me very skeptically when I brought it up, but as I began to describe it and its possibilities, I could see a faint glimmer of understanding come into their eyes. I still had an uphill battle ahead of me, but at least I had two good players beginning to think it just might work. Now, I don’t worry about it. They run the defense from the field, and I don’t have to holler at grown men any more from the baseline telling them to move here or there. The team isn’t any longer embarrassed by an old ball player, and I can spend my time on more important things, like talking to the fans. DThrash

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2 Comments

  1. Ha ha… I was just online around and took a glimpse at these feedback. I can’t believe that there’s still this much fascination. Thanks for writing about this.

  2. Great idea, thanks for this post!

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