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Home Coaching Leadership Teaching Instead of Trouncing

Teaching Instead of Trouncing

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Back in April, two J.V. girls’ softball teams met in Indianapolis for what could have been an epic drubbing. The girls on the inner-city Marshall Community team were playing their first game ever. They had almost no equipment, and their coach was a chemistry teacher who’d never seen a softball game. Their opponent, Roncalli, hadn’t lost a game in two-and-a-half years.

Midway through the second inning, after Marshall had walked nine batters, the Roncalli girls decided to forfeit. Instead of beating up on Marshall, they decided to spend the time teaching their opponents how to play the game. They worked on batting stances, pitching, and catching.

Showing compassion without condescension is tricky. After the practice, Roncalli coach Jeff Traylor noted, “One wrong attitude, one babying approach from our players would shut down the Marshall team, who were already down…. But our girls made me as proud as I have ever been.”

In the following days, Traylor collected donations from Roncalli parents for Marshall’s team. Word spread quickly, and now Marshall has helmets, gloves, balls, and even new infield dirt from the Cincinnati Reds.

Marshall still hasn’t won a game yet, but the girls are rapidly improving, and they’re so excited about softball that they’re looking to play in a summer league.

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