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18 December 2016

Softball WA: Foundations for My Success Workshop

18 December 2016, DSR
Story by Maia Simmonds, WAIS athlete, World Championship and World Cup Australian Rowing Team representative

On Sunday evening Jesse Phillips and I had the great pleasure of meeting a group of softball athletes who are already competing for their State and looking to see how far they can take their game. Softball coming back into the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 adds a new dream for many of the girls in this group and for the boys too this added exposure for their sport can only be a boost.


In the Foundations course we discuss how the increase in time commitment and pressure from your sport increases as you take more steps towards the elite level. I was amazed to find out that some of the games for these athletes, who are still at school, can finish close to 11/12pm at night on a Friday. Working out how to balance the competing demands from school, sport, work and also very importantly time to spend with family and friends can be extremely challenging.

We also looked at where the motivation for your sport, in games and in training, comes from for each person. Motivation is as individual as the person but it is always important to check that it is motivation that balances the drive to succeed with the enjoyment and freedom of play that is the reason we all start playing. We discussed how intrinsic motivations such as performing at our best or the enjoyment of playing, and extrinsic motivations such as winning can all be a part of the drive, but that if a motivation is purely extrinsic it may not push us the same way. For example if we are winning all the time we can stop pushing ourselves to check that each performance is our best.

The best part about a team sport like Softball is having all the people around you to push you and to work for. We took some time for these guys to show us how good their team work could be! 


We looked to goals both within our sport and within our life outside of sport and wrote down steps along the path to achieving both of these. Writing down a goal or telling someone else can be a really important step in making it more likely that the goals will be achieved.

I was really impressed to see how the athletes thought about where they were heading and could map out a bit of a guide on their path to those goals. This kind of foresight is something I definitely didn’t have early on in my career and I’m still figuring it all out now!

We finished up by discussing integrity and sportsmanship within sport. Softball has obviously fostered great attitudes in these athletes towards playing with integrity. It was clear everyone in the room valued the opportunity to play fair competition and thereby knowing that when you won you did so because you were the best on the day.

It was wonderful to meet all these young athletes and I’m excited to see where their sporting and life paths go from here. Good luck to all of you at the upcoming Nationals – Go WA!!


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