This past week Sue Enquist penned an open letter addressing the incident which got the Atlee Softball team expelled from the Little League Junior Softball World Series. For those of you who do not know Sue, she is renowned in the national softball community. She enjoyed a storied 27 year coaching career with the UCLA Bruins, and is the only person to ever win a national championship as both a player and coach. She also has a host of other accomplishments that qualify her to gain your attention and respect, the most compelling is illustrating her own inappropriate behavior as it relates to the situation at hand.
Restating the obvious from Sue's letter is not our objective here. We would like to take a moment and focus on a term in Sue's letter that jumped out at us, "GREAT FAILURE RECOVERY SYSTEM". In softball as in life players make mistakes all the time. Its how you deal with those mistakes that will define who you are as a person. Right out of the gate you cannot have a "GREAT FAILURE RECOVERY SYSTEM " until you first OWN THE MISTAKE. Accept that you have screwed up and put the rest of the system in motion. Do not deflect the blame to someone else. Focus on the mistake, but only for the purpose of acknowledgement and remorse of the mistake itself. Do not focus on the consequences after the fact. That opportunity sailed as soon as you engaged in the inappropriate behavior. Own the consequences and use them as building blocks for the future, share them for the betterment of others. Universities, Coaches, Bosses and just people in general are more interested in your learned behavior and the response to that behavior than they are in your natural ability to win. Be a better athlete, student, friend, employee and just a better person for yourself.
AN OPEN LETTER BY SUE ENQUIST