With the start of the season on the close horizon, Wisconsin softball head coach Yvette Healy talks about the team's core values and how they will drive the team to success in the upcoming season.
This is certainly going to be a new year for Badger Softball. Looking ahead, we have seven games against teams ranked in the pre-season top 25, and almost 20 games against 2014 NCAA tournament teams. We have two short weeks until we open up at Arizona State, facing off against University of California Northridge, Utah Valley and Virginia, before closing out to the weekend against Pac-12 rivals Oregon State and No. 2 Oregon.
The past two seasons have been so special, posting back-to-back NCAA Regional Championship game appearances, and finishing ranked in the top 25. We graduated four All-Region seniors, who each contributed so much to our recent success. As we work to help our newest leaders emerge, our focus has been on competing with character. Our weekly chalk talks this fall featured how we can approach this challenge with passion and integrity.
Wisconsin Softball 2015 -Core Values
In the Wisconsin Softball Family, we strive for our thoughts and actions to reflect our program's core values. When a student-athlete embodies the core values of the program, she will be successful. In order to maximize potential and reach optimal performance, fit is key. When coaches, student-athletes, and support staff are aligned with the program's core values, synergy is created; athletes are connected, supported, and ready to learn, coaches are engaged, empowered and motivated to teach. If we can put our core values into action this season, our greatest challenges will simply become opportunities to work together, grow and achieve together.
Wisconsin Softball Core Values in Action:
In order to understand and connect with our core values, it is important that our thoughts, preparation and actions connect back to what we value most. When our words and deeds reflect our core values, we are in sync with our inner purpose and mission. We are then aligned with who we are, what we value, what we're fighting for, and the significance we're searching for.
No amount of adversity, loss, setback, or failure seems permanent. We are in charge of our own success and destiny. When we have bad at-bats, bad innings, bad games, and even bad seasons, we know that we can work to overcome these challenges. At the core, we know that life is good, and we are fortunate and talented. We continue to connect with our teammates, communicate with our coaches, utilize our resources and work hard on our own to become better than the day before. The path may be rocky at times, but our vision is clear, and our goals are worthy. We are changing the culture of Wisconsin softball, bringing respect to our state and university, proving that a warm-weather sport can thrive in a cold-weather state. Confidence and composure are key elements of grit. Our outstanding work-ethic, sacrifice, and preparation allows us to be optimistic and successful.
The selfless Wisconsin softball athletes always values the success of the program and team over personal glory. She finds joy and gratification in the success of the team. She embraces her role, and feels her contribution is crucial. She works to do more, give more, and make the program better than when she arrived. Selfless teammates care about each other's accomplishments. They work to make their teammates look better on and off the field, backing up plays to save errors, being loyal in times of crisis, giving full effort, diving for free outs to support the pitchers, minimizing personal drama and distraction. Selfless teammates hustle, are engaged and play hard each time they step on their field. They respect their coaches and teammates time, and are always engaged, enthusiastic, trustworthy. Wisconsin softball student-athletes know that everyone has her own challenges and struggles, her goal is to make those around her better, and make people smile. She wants to make the team better, improve the culture, and give back to her coaches, athletics department and university.
Wisconsin softball student-athletes are driven, over-achievers. They understand that creating momentum and legacy is far more challenging than walking into a program with proven success. She embraces being an underdog, and wants to put her stamp on Wisconsin Softball. She has come to Madison to break records, create a championship legacy, and achieve things that no team in the history of Wisconsin softball ever has. In all parts of her life, she strives for success, overcoming odds and obstacles. She over-achieves by always finding a way to succeed despite lacking a map for success, benchmarks or mentors. A lack of All-Americans, blue-chip recruits, or post-season runs, is never an excuse for mediocrity. These trailblazers take pride in being the first to achieve great things in sports and life.
Wisconsin softball is about more than winning and losing. Well-rounded athletes know that happiness and optimal performance go hand-in-hand. In order to achieve true greatness in life, it's never just about personal glory. Driven, well-rounded student-athletes value a renaissance experience. They want to be great at many things, from academics, athletics, and community service to relationships. Our well-rounded athletes have maturity, perspective and purpose. When we know life is about more than softball, we can truly enjoy the time we spend training and perfecting the gifts and talents we've been given.
Wisconsin softball athletes are exciting, driven, and full of vitality. They are well-spoken, endearing, dynamic young women who find ways to achieve great things in life. Wisconsin softball athletes are passionate about their opportunity to be a Badger, and earn a University of Wisconsin degree. She loves competing at one of the most challenging academic and athletic institutions in the country. She is driven to achieve great things, and excited to take on new challenges. Her energy and optimism is obvious, in the way she approaches learning, training, academics and competition. She is fiercely loyal to her teammates, coaches, and the athletics department. She understands how special and finite this opportunity is. Every season, every game, every inning, out, at-bat, and pitch matters. Her hustle and enthusiasm let others know how much she cares about her teammates, Wisconsin Softball, and this opportunity.
In the aftermath of Wisconsin's thrilling, 34-31, overtime win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl, much was written about the Badgers' collective performance, especially that of Outback Bowl MVP, running back Melvin Gordon.
- SI.com - Three and Out: Wisconsin tops Auburn in OT of Outback Bowl thriller
- ESPN.com - Barry Alvarez, Melvin Gordon help Badgers bounce back in Outback Bowl
- YahooSports.com - Wisconsin runs wild, notches overtime Outback Bowl win over Auburn
- BTN.com - Best of Outback Bowl: What a bounceback win for Badgers!
- CBSSports.com - Bowl Bits: Wisconsin 34, Auburn 31, OT (Outback Bowl)
- FoxSports.com - Badgers kick away bad taste from last month, previous bowl losses
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Gordon, Gaglianone lead Badgers to overtime victory in Outback Bowl
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - UW offensive line overcomes maladies in Outback Bowl victory
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Barry Alvarez's gambles pay off big for UW in Outback Bowl
- Wisconsin State Journal - UW halts bowl losing streak
- Wisconsin State Journal - Barry Alvarez instills in players his old-school will to win
- Wisconsin State Journal - Kyle Costigan's gutsy performance 'how legends are made'
- Wisconsin State Journal - With a chip on his shoulder, Melvin Gordon finishes with flourish
Happy New Year's y'all! I'm sitting in an Evanston, Illinois, hotel room watching the Randy Moss 30 for 30 documentary, with a big ol' bottle of water. Crazy exciting New Year's Eve right? I know my New Year's Eve isn't typical of a 20-year-old college kid but never the less, I'm still extremely grateful for my quiet evening in Evanston. 2014 was a year that deserves a quiet evening and one last entry.
Personally, this year felt like a lifetime condensed into 365 days. I feel like I learned lessons that some people never get the opportunity to learn.
My AAU teammates and one of my close friends was killed in a car accident on June 3. She was the friend and teammate we all dream about. Our days on this earth are simply not promised and I vowed to never step on the court again without playing for her. However, after my second knee surgery in July and months of still being in pain, I made the decision to step away from the game for a while and focus on getting myself healthy.
If any of y'all know me, you know how hard this decision was for me to make. My mom and a very long conversation at the most hipster coffee shop in Madison, taught me that not even the game I love is worth risking my health for the rest of my life. The amount of pain I push through does not define how much I love my team and this game. In the meantime, I've had to find ways to encourage my team off the court. That, my friends, is a process still in the making but I will say, I am learning every day.
As for the team, this year was one
of trials, but more importantly, perseverance.
Our team's record with injuries seems to be a constant theme, but I would argue the more remarkable theme is our relentless fight. Within the last year I have witnessed these players beat teams with a roster of 15 with our seven players. Despite the injuries, we always find a way to fight until the buzzer, and for that I am always proud to be a Badger.
We ended the year beating Michigan at the Kohl Center. Needless to say, the trials were more than worth it. As we head into the Big Ten season and the New Year, we are ready to reap the successes that the trials of 2014 prepared us for. We are a veteran team with a veteran mind set that is stable and unwavering. 2015 is going to be one to not only remember, but one to witness.
Thanks for the support, the love and the memories Badger fans! We can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!
Happy New Year friends!
Photo Gallery: One Last Practice
Rain in the Tampa area forced the Badgers inside for their final practice of the season, a spirited and productive session held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It also kept the team from its scheduled appointment at Clearwater Beach for the annual Outback Bowl Beach Day.
That rain did not keep Badgers fans from turning out to show their support, however, as many in red and white made their way to Channelside to enjoy a performance from the UW band and spirit squad, as well as some words of thanks from seniors Rob Havenstein and Marcus and Michael Trotter.
- Photo Gallery: Badgers at Busch Gardens
After working through a short practice at the University of Tampa on Monday, the Badgers had the chance for some fun at Busch Gardens. Players from both Wisconsin and Auburn had the opportunity to enjoy the theme park, with a small group getting some inside access to the Falcon's Fury ride and a safari experience that included feeding the giraffes.
Giraffes and me pic.twitter.com/fFsl1Am9ep— Joe Ferguson (@joeferg5) December 29, 2014
Splitsville Bowling photo gallery
The week has started a little slowly for the Badgers in the score column. So far, in the two official Outback Bowl competitions, UW has come up short. Luckily the only score that counts is the one from the field on Thursday. Senior WR Kenzel Doe has a theory on that.