“Change is a necessary part of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you can become.” Getting a new coach last year was very exciting, but at the same time very scary. You never really know what to expect when getting a new coach. When we heard that Coach Molly was going to be our coach, we were ecstatic because she played at Alabama. She played for a National Championship and she knows what it takes to get there. We knew that we were in for a culture change for the better. ULM softball has really changed since I got here as a freshman. It has grown in many aspects such as, facility improvements, higher GPA, more community service hours, and community involvement. The amount of community support we have is so surreal. There are many people that support the program just because we spoke to them at a coffee shop or did community service. I am very blessed to be a part of this program that cares more about me as a person rather than another player.
Gratitude has really been the word that we go to. “The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become” – Robert Holden. Living a life full of gratitude will make your life so much better. When you are grateful for every at bat, every game, and every practice it will make you realize how much you have. We have 2 mottos for this spring, they are, Be the Culture and SHIP. Be the Culture is setting a standard and living by that. Doing everything right, not taking a pitch off, and going 100% every chance we get. SHIP means selfless, hardworking, impactful, and positive. Living by these standards, we will be the culture and excel in whatever we do. We can take these standards into our life after softball is over. Coach Molly has brought in a lot of stuff that will help us with life after softball. She has really changed the culture here and I am grateful. Ana Hogan, a senior first baseman, said, “Coach Molly has changed the culture at ULM for the better by instilling qualities such as work ethic, professionalism, servitude, and gratitude into her players. These qualities allow us to set a standard and surpass it in everything that we do, from our future jobs to our future families.” She believes that we have what it takes to change this ball club and lead us in the right direction.
Energy, effort and attitude are things that you can control. Having energy at practice, weights, games, and even road trips will allow you to be free. Playing free this year has allowed us to play our ball. We believe that when we’re playing for each other and giving each other all of us we will succeed. Effort is going all out on every pitch. Having a “good” mindset will make you look at things with a different perspective. (LINK) When things don’t go your way, GOOD. There’s an opportunity to get better. The culture at ULM has changed tremendously. It has driven us to work harder for each other because we love the game and want to succeed as bad as we want to breathe. When teams want to win that bad that’s when you will be the best. That’s when you will win those close games. That’s when you do all the little things right that lead up to the big things.
MUDITA: finding vicarious joy in other’s success. When you forget about yourself and play for your teammates you will realize why you play the game. Always having your teammates back and picking them up in times of need is where this comes into play. Softball is a game of failure but that makes the success even better. Changing the culture into playing free, having each other’s backs and having vicarious joy for everyone will make any program successful. Helping a pinch hitter or having a pitcher’s back on defense will push you to win those tight games. Changing the culture for the better takes time, but it is all worth it.