I wasn’t always coachable. In fact, there were times early in my life when I was kind of a terror. I remember being at softball practice once, I must have been about 10 years old, and during the middle of our warm up a big horse walked up from the adjacent farm lot and stuck his head through a giant hole in the fence. A couple of wood planks were missing from this fence, leaving just enough space for the curious horse to peek his head through to see what all of the commotion was.
Naturally, all of us girls dropped our gloves and sprinted over to pet the horse. After a few minutes Coach Howard hollered to us that it was time to “get back to it.” Everyone moseyed back on over to continue warming up. Everyone, that is, except for me. I had decided that I would rather stay and pet the horse, then go back with the team to do what my coach said. Howard hollered over again. With this I answered back with blatant defiance which elevated into an altercation, and ended with me literally getting on my bike and leaving practice.
That’s right. I was a total brat. That memory makes me wince to this day.
Then there was the issue of mechanics and skills. I prided myself on knowing the right way to field a grounder or the proper way to slide into a base. After all, I had read Margo Davis’ thesis on the Game of Softball and she was one of the best known softball coaches at that time. So I found myself arguing with coaches when they would tell me something that clearly was not right.
“You gotta be coachable,” my Dad explained to me later. This was a subject that didn’t resonate with me immediately, but rather began to make sense over time. “If the coach asks you to do something, you do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. If he tells you to do cartwheels around the bases, you nod your head and freakin do it.”
As I got older and more experienced, it started to make more sense to me. I learned that you could learn something from everyone. The more opportunities you have to get coached by different people, the more opportunity you have to learn; even if that knowledge was what not to do. I learned that when someone asks you to try something new, even if it sounds strange or feels unfamiliar, you don’t know how it will work out until you really try it. And I mean really try it, for a period of time, giving it a real shot.
But I didn’t just learn how to be coachable from playing sports. Interestingly enough, I learned a lot about being coachable from different people in my life, including one of my all time favorite teachers, Mrs. Edwards. Mrs. Edwards was my freshman English teacher who always mustered up interesting topics to get us thinking imaginatively about things. In Mrs. Edward’s class, we always did things that were out of the ordinary. We got very comfortable partaking in exercises that were different, sometimes even outside of our comfort zone; something that translated well into my world of sports, and vice versa.
Hence we come full circle to our story of Mary. Last night, I shared with you a story that was told to me by Mrs. Edwards during my freshman year of high school. It was sort of a silly yet thought provoking exercise that has stuck with me to this day.
Mary’s story has come to an end. I asked you to rank the characters, for what ever reason you decided, from 1-6. You filled in any blanks in the story with your own imagination to come to your decision. With that said, each character is supposed to represent the following:
What do you think of your rankings after knowing what they represent? Is it accurate? How about in relation to CrossFit?
Also something to ask yourself: Are you coachable?
OH Squat (135/95)