UW Health Sports Medicine 

Focus and confidence

In the team's first blog entry of the season, softball head coach Yvette Healy writes about what the Badgers are doing to make themselves better on and off the field. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

Happy New Year! The Wisconsin Women's softball team is working hard, practicing for our 2011 season. The Badgers came back from break happy, healthy, strong and motivated.

Many of our coaches and student-athletes made the trek to Pasadena, Calif., cheering the Badger football team on in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Seeing so many of our athletic teams make history right in front of our eyes is always inspiring. Football, basketball and hockey have all posted huge wins over nationally-ranked teams this season, and softball can't wait to carry on the winning tradition.

For our new softball staff, practicing in the McClain Center, our giant indoor turfed dome, is a dream-come-true. We've spent years coaching and practicing on gym floors in tight spaces. Our drills, practices and scrimmages are even better now that we can hit fly balls, compete in game situations and hit live.

Last week, the Badger softball team talked a lot about getting better each day. We discussed achieving through FOCUS & CONFIDENCE.

FOCUS: In order to focus, we're working to minimize distractions, seek out and find happiness, and cultivate a balanced life. We challenged our softball team to be good at many things and to be Renaissance woman. We asked them to study hard, get great grades, to develop friendships, find love, give back to the community and be in great shape.

The acronym, P.E.P.S.I., reminds us to spend time developing ourselves as athletes, students and people in order to have focus. The "P.E.P.S.I. Challenge" says the key to happiness and success is balance in the PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, SPIRITUAL, and INTELLECTUAL parts of our lives.

CONFIDENCE: Beyond focus, elite athletes need confidence. Confidence comes from being prepared, working hard, going the extra mile and being dedicated.

Confidence comes from learning, and the only way to learn is to GET UNCOMFORTABLE! Know yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses and work to get better each day. The first step to gaining confidence is action. Don't be afraid to brilliantly fail!

Confident athletes "don't try, they do". They don't try to get a hit, they get one. They don't try to stop the ball, they stop it. They don't try, or wish, or want to be a great softball athlete, they are. Confident athletes use every fiber in their body to find a way, and figure it out. They try 40 different approaches to find success. They rethink everything. We all know that people will say no, doubt you, and put limits on you. Logically, why listen. Why can't you achieve? Why can't you be the first to break through and create something special? What's stopping you?

Finally confidence comes when you work harder and smarter than anyone around you.  Everyone is given different gifts, so life is not fair and equal. Some people can naturally hit the ball farther and throw harder, so you may have to lift twice as much. Some are faster, so you may need to run more. Go the extra mile. Find what you are great at and really develop it.

Our Wisconsin softball staff is thrilled with the energy, excitement and effort we've seen from our student-athletes so far. The goal is to maintain this enthusiasm as we prepare for opening weekend in Texas.


We are truly excited for Badger softball to get started & plan to go to tourneys in Tx & ca.
Sounds like everyone is working hard...keep it up.

Lets go Badgers! See you in Austin!