By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on January 26, 2012 2:27 PM
UWBadgers.com sat down
with head coach Yvette Healy to discuss the first week of practice. The Badgers
kicked off the season on Jan. 17 and play in their first game Feb. 17.
How did the first week of practice go?
"The first week back looked good. We spent a lot of the time
making sure physically we are in great shape. Practice is a lot more creative
than usual. A lot more running, jumping, diving, medi balls, jump ropes, ladders
and juggling. Fun stuff like that. We are really working on some differential learning
with the team, trying to get them active besides just softball skills.
Were there any surprises the first week?
"Molly Spence had been hurt and she was out last year. Even with
being in some pain and being out, she hits the ball a ton. It is really fun as
a staff to see her hit live and hit in scrimmages. She is a tremendous athlete
and she is someone you can't help but notice when you are watching practice."
You worked on fitness the first week, what does the second
"We are getting into a little more philosophy stuff. We are
working a lot on our swings. I think we have a lot of potential to hit home
runs and attack that record. Coach Schneider has been doing a lot of the
science behind it and working with our team on torque and their bat
positioning, creating velocity and increasing bat speed. (There has been) a lot
of strength stuff, vision training and then just your basic, grounders, fly
balls and breaking down the skill and re-teaching it. I think you spend the
second week tearing apart your fundamentals, making sure you are all on the
same page and re-teaching. It is a great week going into a weekend of camp to
have our team reviewing all of those fundamentals."
What are your goals for the next two and a half weeks of
"Every week we try to advance what we are doing and just
make sure we are getting better from a pitching, fielding, defensive and
hitting stand point, each aspect of the game. We are ramping it up to feel more
like game situations, but we were careful not to jump right in and just go from
0 to 60 right away. Really the first weeks are about getting your fundamentals
down and being in great shape and having the team work really hard and get in
"The next couple weeks will really start to feel like game
mode, where every drill feels more a little more rushed, a little more sense of
urgency, a little more game like.
We are in IA City. Where are you? Catch all of tonight's action with the live blog: http://see.sc/FAmcAi[via Twitter]
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:20 BadgerWBBall
Wisconsin (5-12 overall, 1-4) splits in action this week, traveling to Iowa (10-8, 2-3) on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Badgers return home on Sunday to host Northwestern (12-6, 2-3) at 2 p.m. from the Kohl Center.
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:22 Anna Poulter-Hendrickson
After playing five of six games against ranked opponents, the Badgers play five straight games against non-ranked teams.
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:24 Anna Poulter
In their last two games, the Badgers have shot 49.5 percent from the field, including a season-high 53.6 percent in their win over Illinois on Jan. 8. UW shot just 35.7 percent from the field its previous seven games and is shooting 38.7 percent for the year.
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:24 Anna Poulter
Wisconsin takes on Iowa at 7 p.m. The Hawkeyes are 10-8 and 2-3 in the Big Ten. Iowa is coming off a 57-55 loss at No. 17 Purdue on Sunday
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:27 Anna Poulter
Join me for all of the action tonight as I blog from court-side at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Questions, comments, concerns are all welcome :)
Thursday January 19, 2012 6:27 Anna Poulter
Tune in to WIBA-AM 1310 to hear Mike Heller call tonight's game from courtside at Carver-Hawkeye: [via Twitter]
In today's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about the power of words and the impact they can have on a team.
With a short week of classes, the Badger softball team is lifting and conditioning hard, before Thanksgiving break. There has been a lot of excitement in our offices today, as we celebrate our men's cross country's fifth national championship! They just won the NCAA Cross Country Championship last night. It's been fun to see the trophy and hear stories about the police escort the Badger bus received driving back through Madison last night. We have our final home football game on Saturday, as the Badgers battle for a spot in the new Big Ten Championship title game.
Our team meeting this week is focusing on the power of what we say as teammates. This is such an important message this time of year. As coaches, it's hard not to see our team every day. Our athletes are spending a lot of time studying and working with tutors as we enter the last few weeks of class.
We're giving the team a few quotes from the book, "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book shares ideas on how to be a better person, and teammate. The first agreement is, "Be impeccable with your word". Ruiz states, "Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love."
It's amazing how powerful all of our words can be. What we say as coaches and athletes can inspire, or attack. Our words can motivate, or they can cause people to shut down. All of us have the ability to help create a positive, productive, successful environment within our program. We can create drama, or minimize it with words we choose to use.
In the "Four Agreements", Ruiz goes on to say, "You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word. When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace."
Our goal in the Wisconsin softball family, is to create a competitive environment where the student-athletes feel challenged, supported and respected. We want our athletes to be successful students and people. Hopefully we all take a moment this holiday season to reflect on how lucky and fortunate we are. Our goal is to use our words to make this softball team, athletics department and university a better, happier, more successful and productive place.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on November 3, 2011 3:36 PM
In today's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about celebrating the fall season in Madison.
What a beautiful fall in Madison. This fall has been filled
with pumpkins, football and falling leaves. The leaves are all changing colors,
with red, orange and yellow trees everywhere on campus. We've had beautiful
weather with a few sunny 60 and 70 degree days over the past few weeks. People
are jogging along the lake and out playing with their dogs everywhere you look.
Our campus looks like fall postcard right now with the sun shining on the lakes
and the leaves changing colors all around us.
The softball team celebrated Halloween with a costume
contest, dinner and pumpkin carving party at my house last week. My three year
old daughter Grace was a fairy princess with big purple wings and a butterfly
mask. Grace has prayed for the "Badger softball girls" every night since the
party. Her favorite costumes were the Bee Catcher and the Nerds. Our team
gatherings make me feel so fortunate as a wife, mom and coach. There are many
times when the travel and rigors of the job make it tough to balance. Yet, when
my husband Shawn and I have the team, coaches and staff over to our house, and
we see Grace playing with the student-athletes -- looking up to them as role
models -- everything seems to fit together perfectly.
We had a fun two-hand touch football game with our staff and
the team at the field last week too. It was a great workout and non-stop
laughs. We have some hilarious personalities on our team. I really enjoyed
mixing in and playing too. Coach Schneider played football in college, so his
team had a bit of an advantage, but we still finished in a tie. This is the
second year that we've ended the fall with flag football and I think this
tradition will stick.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on October 13, 2011 4:39 PM
Unsung heroes. Every sport has them. In the sport of soccer,
it is typically the defenders that fall into that category. They play day in
and day out, without the glory of the offensive positions. Rarely do they score
a point, maybe an assist here and there.And when the team records a shutout, it usually isn't defenders getting
the credit. Yet without them, the game wouldn't be the same.
UW defenders Blake Succa and David Caban are two players
that exemplify the role of the defender. Both have seen action in all 12 of
Wisconsin's games this season, with Succa starting every contest. Both play
hard every minute they are on the field and play even harder in the final
minutes of the game, yet neither has been the subject of a postgame interview
or earned a weekly honor.
"Defending starts the attack," Caban stated. "It is always
nice when you get to blow up a challenge with an opposing midfielder as he is
coming down at you, and then you win the tackle and start the attack to the
"Our main job is to slow down the other team's attack so
that our attackers can get back and get behind the ball," said Succa.
"If someone is under pressure I can be an outlet for them,"
added Caban. "If the attack can't break through, they always have options back
to relieve the pressure."
The strength of UW's defense was put the to the test in
Sunday's 2-1 win over Michigan. The Wolverines came out of halftime with a two-goal
deficit and tested the Badgers' defense with 16 shots in the second half,
including six on net.
"We had the lead and we stayed calm," Caban said. "We knew
that once they came at us we had to hold solid and make sure we preserved the
lead and try to get the win. We used the motivation to stay undefeated in the
Big Ten as a little extra push."
UW's defense held and the Badgers earned their first-ever
win over Michigan in Ann Arbor; a fact that shouldn't go unnoted as the team
travels to Ann Arbor in November for the Big Ten Tournament.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on October 5, 2011 3:09 PM
The Wisconsin men's soccer team has earned a No. 25 ranking in the latest Soccer America Top 25 poll. Creighton, UW's opponent in tonight's game, is ranked fifth. The Bluejays fell from the third spot after suffering their first loss of the season to Maryland.
The Badgers also earned a spot on this week's Tournament 48 rankings by Top Drawer Soccer. The rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. UW earned the 30th spot on the list, while Creighton is sixth.
Wisconsin hosts Creighton at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the McClimon Complex. The Bluejays enter the game fresh off of their first loss of the season, while the Badgers are looking to extend their unbeaten streak to six games.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on October 5, 2011 12:05 PM
Wisconsin men's soccer sophomore Nick Janus (Deer Park, Ill.) has been named to the CS360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll and selected to Soccer America Men's Team of the Week, announced today.
Janus scored three points in UW's upset over then-No. 6 Indiana Sunday afternoon. He assisted on junior Tomislav Zadro's (Toronto, Ontario.) game-winning goal at the 53:30 mark and then confirmed the victory for the Badgers with the game's second goal in the 79th minute.
Earlier in the week, Janus was selected as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
The Badgers put their five-game unbeaten streak on the line tonight when the No. 5 Creighton Bluejays come to town. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the McClimon Complex.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on October 3, 2011 2:35 PM
In today's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about last week's games and the UW sports medicine department.
What a great weekend in sports here at Wisconsin. We played our final three games of the fall softball season at home last Friday and Sunday, going 3-0. We had a great pregame meal Friday afternoon at the Kohl Center, our basketball and hockey arena. We got to visit with our women's hockey coach, USA Gold Medal Olympian Mark Johnson, before the meal. Women's hockey dominated in its opening weekend, scoring more than 20 goals in two games. Our men's basketball coach, Bo Ryan, addressed the softball team too, attributing his years of Big Ten conference championships and NCAA Sweet 16 finishes to teamwork, toughness and great chemistry.
Friday night was an exciting game battling DePaul. Our junior pitcher Meghan McIntosh did a great job keeping hitters off balance, working ahead in the count and inducing groundballs. She only gave up three hits and one walk, while striking out five and getting 11 hitters to ground into outs. Meghan has always had great speed and spin, getting gunned at 67mph, yet she went 3-0 this fall by hitting her spots, working ahead and changing speeds.
Redshirt sophomore Molly Spence hit a game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the 7th of the DePaul game, crushing a change up over the fence. Molly spent last season rehabbing her shoulder. We are so proud of her leadership, focus and toughness, battling through a shoulder injury, surgeries and a long year of doctor's visits and rehab. Our athletic trainer Ashley Parr had a huge smile on her face as Molly trotted around the bases.
I believe we have one of the best sports medicine departments in the country here at Wisconsin. Our team physicians and connection to the UW hospitals is amazing. Yet the most impressive part of our healthcare is definitely the people. Our athletic trainers go above and beyond the call of duty, working long hours before and after our practices, and on days off, keeping our team healthy and happy. Beyond physical therapy and rehab, our athletic trainers manage the nutrition of our student-athletes. Each Wisconsin student-athlete attends a healthy shopping and cooking seminar each year, to learn what to choose in the cafeteria, how to get the most nutrition for your money at the grocery store and, of course, quick and easy recipes for nutritious meals and snacks. Each athlete leaves the nutrition seminar with a binder filled with great recipes and cooking tips.
Our main function here as coaches at the University of Wisconsin is not only to create a winning legacy athletically, but also to help transform our student-athletes in mature, healthy, capable young women who will lead on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The college years are critical for helping transition students into adulthood. The health and nutrition lessons learned here at Wisconsin will last a lifetime, as our Badgers learn how to build strength and character through adversity and teamwork.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on September 23, 2011 12:38 PM
In today's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about last week's games and assistant coach Randy Schneider's chalk-talk.
What a great week in Badger softball. We had the opportunity to travel to Chicago last weekend for our first bus trip and hotel stay as a team. Our football team played at Soldier Field while we competed at Loyola and UIC. It was a great bonding trip to spend a weekend together as a team; we even got to enjoy a little deep dish Chicago pizza after beating Loyola Friday night.
We had a few great practices this week, breaking down film, working on the fundamentals and getting in a great sweat yesterday with our "Texas BP". We opened the season last year at the University of Texas, going 4-2 on our first road trip. We designed a great 1.5 hour batting practice/"BP" workout that featured as ton of fly balls and grounders, combined with batting practice on the field with live runners. It's amazing how much work you can get in when everything is highly organized, and planned out. Our staff takes a lot of pride in teaching the game, but also being efficient. We love to see our student-athletes hustling on and off the field, diving, playing hard, sweating and learning. It was a great day both offensively and defensively.
The highlight of the week was coach Schneider's chalk-talk. He spent a few hours on Wednesday helping our student-athletes understand what it takes to be an outstanding student-athlete. One of our biggest challenges in taking over the Badger softball program has been creating a championship culture. It takes a lot of mentoring and teaching to help create a culture of competition, exemplary work-ethic and belief. Coach Schneider challenged the team to make history, take ownership and go above and beyond the call of duty, doing extra every day.
One of my favorite quotes that coach Schneider uses is; "You're either training for something, or you're not". It's so simple, yet profound. Either you're on a path of discipline and goals, working towards some great accomplishment, or you're just coasting. Either you wake up every day motivated to get better, or you spend your life being average.
Coach sent the poem below to the team, and it really summarizes what being a successful, motivated, division-one student-athlete is all about:
Don't wait for some distant day to come, it may be too late before you've even begun. Not everyone will agree with all you decide. Be true to yourself first and foremost. The only important thing in life is what you do with the time you spend here on earth. Don't be afraid to follow your desires, they are not silly nor selfish. Take the time and do what makes you feel alive. Leave your fears and regrets in the past, for this is where they belong. Don't cloud today with things that can't be undone. You have no more control over yesterday or tomorrow, than you do the raging of your passions. Do not quiet these dreams nor quench your desires. For if you do, your journey is ended. You have only today to begin anew and follow your dreams. For in the end all we have are our memories. When the twilight comes to us, let there be, No excuses, no explanations, no regrets.
By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson on September 9, 2011 12:42 PM
Catch up with coach Healy as the Badgers return to Madison for the fall season.
It's great to have the softball team back on campus and practicing. I'm amazed at how fast the summer flew by. This was the Healy family's first summer in Madison, and although I was on the road recruiting and doing camps around the country, my husband Shawn, our three year old daughter Grace and I found some time to enjoy Madison's Farmer's Market, the Zoo, a few festivals and the beaches.
We had our first football game on Thursday, Sept. 1, beating UNLV 51-17. It was nearly 90 degrees at kick-off, one of the hottest games ever played at Camp Randall.
Last week we had our softball kick-off meeting and classes began. Our men's hockey coach, Mike Eaves, addressed the softball team, sharing some words of wisdom and keys to success. Mike won a national championship as a student-athlete at Wisconsin in 1977 and led the Badgers to a national championship in 2006 as the head coach. Mike is competitive, dynamic and passionate. It's no wonder UW hockey leads the country in attendance, filling the Kohl Center with nearly 16,000 fans every home game.
Mike shared Wisconsin hockey's focus this season, "PAD". "P" is for Persistent work ethic, "A" is for attitude and "D" is for discipline.
Persistent Work Ethic. The goal is to show up each day and truly focus on the task at hand. Get a little better every day. Create a ritual before stepping on the ice or field that allows you to tune out distraction and prepare to learn. Appreciate the opportunity to grow. Be deliberate about practice, do something that will turn your head around before entering the arena each day.
Attitude. See everything as a challenge, negative attitudes only gets in the way of your progression. Mike spoke about the book "Talent Is Overrated", by Geoff Colvin. The greatest life lessons and achievements come from those who are determined and have great attitudes. If your approach is great, and you stay positive throughout the learning process, you'll surpass even those who walk through the doors with more talent.
Finally, Discipline. Discipline is not a bad thing. It's not only a word that means you've done something wrong. True self-discipline allows you to organize your life, prioritize your tasks and accomplish. Discipline is the opposite of chaos. If you had no order or organization to your schedule, you'd never get your homework finished, you'd never find anything in your room. Discipline allows you to focus time on the most important tasks, prioritize your life and ultimately achieve your goals due to sacrifice and order.
Our Badger softball team is so lucky to meet and learn from some of the best coaches in the country. After winning 30 games in 2011, we know our biggest challenge will be sustaining what we've started to create, and creating a culture of success.
Great athletic teams: 1) Create momentum. 2) Sustain moment. 3) Build a winning legacy.