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Waiting is the hardest part

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In this week's softball blog, head coach Yvette Healy writes about how the team spent its week off after an opening week in Austin, Texas. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

I think Tom Petty said it best, "The waiting is the hardest part."

It's been two weeks since our last games. Two weeks since our trip to Austin that we've had to break down film, assess our progress, attack our weaknesses and scout our opponents. I know everyone's bodies needed a few days off after winning four of our first six games. The University of Wisconsin is taking midterms right now too, so the team got a few extra days off over the weekend to catch up and get ahead on their studies preparing for mid-semester exams.

As a coach, I'd rather not take extra days off. Practice days are the most enjoyable for me, and game days are even better. A weekend of following scores while others are competing isn't any fun. Yet our staff works hard to maintain a little work-life balance in season, enjoying the moments we can spend with family while we're home.

Working towards your goals

In this week's softball blog, head coach Yvette Healy writes about how the team has set both team and individual goals for the season. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

After a great opening weekend in Austin, Texas, winning four games, we're back working hard in Madison. One of my favorite things we did as a staff this weekend was set game goals for the team. As coaches and student-athletes, we often get caught up in the outcome instead of focusing on the process. As new staff here at Wisconsin, we know how important teaching the game is. We've spent a tremendous amount of time meeting with each student-athlete, getting to know our team on a personal level and communicating our philosophy and goals. 

Our staff understands that you don't just go out, cross your fingers, wish for good things to happen and win games. Although we are very positive and motivational, there is a lot of theory and method behind our approach. You win games by executing the fundamentals. If your team can focus on the process of getting people on base, moving runners and getting clutch performances from defenders, pitchers, and hitters when it counts, you'll win games. 

Opening weekend

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In this week's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about the team's successful opening weekend at the Texas Invitational. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

What a great opening weekend for the Badger Softball team! We opened up in beautiful Austin, Texas. The weather was perfect the entire weekend, with mostly 70 degree temperatures at game time. We arrived on Wednesday night and got to practice Thursday morning on Texas' field before our opening games later that night. The team was so focused, enthusiastic and aggressive at practice; it set the tone for the entire trip.

Softball Chalk Talk with Coach Bielema

Bielema (4)_WEB.jpgIn this week's blog entry, head coach Yvette Healy writes about what it means to be surrounded by successful coaches at Wisconsin and the experience of having head football coach Bret Bielema speak to the team. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

What a fun week for football it was in Wisconsin. There were cheeseheads everywhere with the Packers winning the Super Bowl. We even finished our Sunday practice early that day so the team could get together for the big game.

The highlight was definitely having our head football coach, Bret Bielema, speak to our Badger Softball team on Thursday. Bret has created an amazing formula for success. After winning the Big Ten this year, and playing in the Rose Bowl, Coach B shared a few thoughts on success.

Coaching Philosophy

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In this week's blog entry, assistant coach Randy Schneider writes about his coaching philosophy and what coaching at Wisconsin means to him. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

Coach Healy has given me the opportunity to talk about my philosophy of coaching, so here goes:

Firstly, thank you Coach Healy for the opportunity to work at such a prestigious university and I have truly enjoyed working for such a fine family person/coach since my arrival in August.

What an incredible year to move your family to Wisconsin. The people here are passionate about their Badgers and Packers and to experience the Rose Bowl, "Granddaddy of Them All", along with the Super Bowl was truly a cool experience. To have the opportunity to discuss athletics with prestigious administrators/coaches and passionate people is much appreciated and something I will always be thankful for. The athletic family at the University of Wisconsin is truly amazing: very caring, understanding, loyal and hard working. Those characteristics are in direct correlation to the success people see on the field here.

Addressing the mental approach

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In this week's blog entry, softball head coach Yvette Healy writes about what the Badgers are doing to change their mental approach. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates throughout the season.

Now that we have the first few weeks of practice with the Badger Softball team completed, we're focusing in on opening week.

We've spent a lot of time on our swings this winter, incorporating vision training, hand and wrist strengthening drills, and video analysis. We've challenged our hitters to be students of the game, understanding the forces that create whip and generate power. Beyond creating a strong fundamental base to our swings and being efficient, our staff has spent a lot of time addressing our mental approach in and out of the box.

Focus and confidence

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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.

NCAA announces change in women's soccer championship format

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The NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet approved a recommendation to change the women's postseason championships to a 1-1-2-2 format beginning in the fall of 2011, the NCAA announced Friday.

Now, the first round of the NCAA tournament will be held at 32 on-campus sites and the following week, the second round will be held at 16 on-campus sites.

A week in the office

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Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins checks in weekly updating fans on the women's soccer team, what's going on in Madison and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

It has been a very productive week in the office for me. It has been very quiet with both my assistants out of town, but my staff assistants, Sue and Lori, have kept me entertained all week (along with the World Cup).

The World Cup has been fantastic, and you have to assume the second round games will be more entertaining as teams have to get results. I was shocked, as everyone was, to see Spain lose to Switzerland but that truly is the nature of our sport.

Biking and...Bacon?

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Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins checks in weekly updating fans on the women's soccer team, what's going on in Madison and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

Sometimes I get to do the coolest things as a coach, and Tuesday was one of those times. Yesterday the Wisconsin coaching staff went to Milwaukee for Badger Days, and we had the opportunity to be on the field at Miller Park before the Brewers game against the Cubs. If you are not from the Midwest, you have to understand that it's a big game when the Brewers play the Cubs, as there is no love lost between the two teams. It was a great game, but more importantly, it was a great athletic atmosphere.