Dena Tyson is a former All-American at the University of Washington and today is a successful Corona Angels head coach at the 18U and 16U levels who has helped dozens of players develop and advance to the collegiate level to play softball.
Dena is the daughter of legendary Corona Angels head coach Marty Tyson and competed at the University of Washington from 2002 to 2007.
She was part of Husky teams that made the Women’s College World Series three times (2003, ’04 and ’07) and as a senior for Washington in 2007 was a 1st Team All-American and was a selection to the World Series All-Tournament Team.
In today’s blog, Dena asks players: are you matching the energy and effort your parents put into your softball journey?
Be sure to check out her previous blogs too including Being a Team Player, How to Deal With Failure, How to Deal With Riding the Bench, How to Pick the Right College, How to Balance Life as a Student Athlete, What Are The Qualities of an All-American?, To My Unverballed Seniors, It’s Not Just About You, Habits and Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
Not going to lie, I struggled finding inspiration on a topic this week. I was worried that it wasn’t going to happen for me because I got to Friday and still nothing. Then as you know things have a way of working out.
Our focus this year is on rotational acceleration and using the tire seems to help increase these numbers. Watching some of our girls hit through the tire—or I should saw attempt to hit through the tire—was laughable.
I started thinking about how my Dad made me do 100 swings a day off the tire as my warm-up (I couldn’t even get a lesson in if I hadn’t done my 100 swings).
I started getting on our parents and told them, “Hey, get your daughter a tire so they can start getting their acceleration up!”
Then a parent told me that they have one they just don’t use it!
Now this leads me to the point of the blog: Why aren’t players matching their parents’ energy! What does this mean to my uncool parents? (laughs) I got you. When I say to match your parents’ energy, a prime example is these players whose parents go out and make a tire and they (the players) don’t use it.
Our organization has players from Northern California, Oregon, Colorado and Las Vegas who are not part-time players. These players rarely miss a weekend. And let’s be real these players aren’t driving themselves or paying that plane ticket or paying the hotel room every weekend.
However, these players will sometimes come and not adjust in lessons and games. They will come down here and go through the motions or even have the audacity to get an attitude with their parents.
The energy that these parents are providing DESERVES MORE!
As a player, if you fall in this category your parent should never have to wake you up to go to school or do your homework. They should never have to tell you need to be practicing. They should never have to tell you, “Hurry get in the car, we are leaving.”
They should never have to question your commitment.
This just doesn’t go to players whose parents are traveling every weekend, this goes to local players as well. Most parents have a job and they rush home to make sure during the week you get to your pitching, catching, fielding, hitting and agility classes weekly.
You don’t think your parents want to come home from work and take a nap or just relax? You don’t think your parents want to have a weekend for themselves before they must start another 40-plus hour week?
Then I see people come to lessons and I have to question: “Do they even want to be here?”
MATCH YOUR PARENTS’ ENERGY, SIS!
For my players who ARE matching their parent’s energy… THANK YOU! For the ones that are not—and be honest with yourself—why aren’t you? My parents reading this: if your child isn’t matching the energy you are putting in, why aren’t you pushing them, too?
I will leave you with a story about my pitching career.
I started in softball as a pitcher and I was pretty good too. I was considered, at one point, one of the top three pitchers in 12-and-Under. My dad, of course, got me in with one of the best pitching coaches in the country, Ernie Parker.
We lived in Corona, California and Ernie was in Costa Mesa (a 55-minute drive up and back). We drove this far for a 30-minute lesson and then my dad would get back home at 10 pm and have to be at work by midnight because he worked the graveyard shift.
Already you can see the energy that my dad was putting out, and yes, I still struggled practicing and doing what I needed to do to get better.
When my Dad started to get frustrated with my lack of work, he asked why I wasn’t working. My first excuse was that it was too hard to go the park and find time to pitch.
My Dad’s next solution was to make a batting cage in my backyard, but I still didn’t practice the way I should have been practicing.
So now it was time to come up with a second excuse, I told him his lessons were taking too long and we couldn’t pitch at night.
My dad’s next solution was to get lights in the backyard. Now at 35, I can see the energy that my dad was exerting but I couldn’t match his energy because I didn’t enjoy pitching.
Final two points:
- Players not matching your parents’ energy: don’t take the three years it took me to figure out the truth!
- Parents: make them match your energy… anything less is unacceptable!
--- Dena Tyson