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.
In today’s blog, she breaks down some key points in a great video called “It’s Not Just About You” which is included below .
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.
Be sure to check out her previous blogs as well 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? and To My Unverballed Seniors.
I have watched this video more times than I can count and EVERY TIME I GET TEARS IN MY EYES AND GOOSEBUMPS!
I am guilty of it and I am sure you guys have said it as well… the people with a story always make it!
But I want to change that dialogue so I decided to break down some key points in this video:
1. ENGAGE IN CONSISTENT ACTION:
In my opinion the people who have a “story” were always the hardest workers. They never had to be told, or pushed to work. Is it because their environment forced them to engage in this action and they didn’t have a silver spoon in their mouths? I challenge you because I don’t have a story. My parents got out of the hood and I never felt struggle. However, that’s not an excuse not to engage in consistent action. Everyday should be dedicated to something in your craft… whether it is physical or mental.
2. CERTAIN LEVEL OF PRIDE:
Another trait I see in the people with a “story” is that they have this pride in their hard work. And sometimes in their stories that’s all they have so of course they have pride in their hard work. Let me tell you, I worked really hard my senior year and I did feel a certain level of pride in that work. My shoulders were a little higher and I felt no one could take that away from me! I think that is why you see players like Inky work as hard as they can. They don’t own many things but their work ethic. How about we take pride in the fact that our parents have made it possible for us to be given opportunities to work hard: hitting, pitching and fielding. Take PRIDE IN THAT!!!
3. A DRIVING FORCE OF WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO:
Obviously, this is why people with a “story” seem to make it! They want out of their bad situation, for example Inky wanted out of poverty. Trying to find your driving force is the single most important trait to be successful in LIFE! Find your driving force. Mine was to be the first one in my family to get a degree. No matter how hard being a student-athlete was, quitting wasn’t an option! When you don’t have a driving force engaging in consistent action and pride, it will never become a habit!
4. I CAN’T CHEAT:
I laugh when he says this because I cheated so many times throughout my process. From taking reps off, to not touching the line every time, or not taking the reps I was supposed to take. But once I engaged in consistent action and took pride in my habits, cheating wasn’t an option. I had developed a driving force to become an All American and cheating wasn’t an option! The bucket held 25 balls and I hit 25 balls! The rep was 4 of 10, all 40 we’re getting done! I promise you he is right. Develop a mindset where cheating yourself isn’t an option! I see players cheating themselves all the time and there is no remorse for it!
5. QUITTING BECOMES A HABIT:
Once you do it once, it becomes easier to keep doing it! You see this in travel ball a lot and now it is leaking into college. Obviously, there are many reasons people quit and I’m not judging. However, don’t quit because of playing time. Instead, go earn time and fight for what you want. Quitting is so easy because you can blame others, but eventually the rubber meets the road and when it’s finally time to have the Michael Jackson Man in the Mirror moment, it may be too late!
6. THE PROCESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OUTCOME:
The process of becoming an All-American is what made me the woman I am today, NOT BECOMING AN ALL AMERICAN! My work ethic and the intensity in everything I do comes from that process. The way I am as a mother, wife, coach, sister, aunt and daughter all came from that process!!! Understanding that it’s bigger than ME! Parents and coaches get caught up in winning and losing, but remember that in the end we are trying to raise productive adults. Remember that because the line kids just being kids can’t last forever!
7. MOST PEOPLE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO QUIT WILL:
Stop giving our kids an escape route!! There aren’t any escape routes in life! My dad never gave me the opportunity to quit and now looking back I’m so grateful for that! Because life isn’t easy as an adult and when you have a family that you must take care of quitting isn’t an option! Unfortunately, I see it all the time. Coach Dena is yelling at me, she isn’t being positive with me, she is the reason I am doing bad, etc…. Instead of listening to my message, they leave my team and continue to play poorly on their new team. Stop giving them an opportunity to quit and go have a sit down with the coach and figure out what your child needs to do to be successful!
8. WHEN YOU WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT… YOU WILL KNOW YOUR WHO, WHAT AND WHY:
I will say this to all my people, you pay for a lot of things, investing in mental training is probably the most important thing to separate your athlete. I see games all the time where teams are evenly matched and usually the victorious team is the one who is mentally stronger!! Sometimes it just comes down to who has GUTS! I believe in my heart that this game is 90 % mental… so many times you see girls who don’t pass an eye test do well in our game… how?? Because they are solid inside! Then on the flip side you see a physical specimen, who just can’t figure it out… how??? Because their inside is unstable and unsure!!
Check out this previous column on HABITS!