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Play Ball

This week, the post is written by a dear friend. Colleen McKay.

Colleen is one of those people that to know her, is to love her. She is a giver and a joyful one at that. She sees beyond her responsibilities and always leaves anything she is a part of better than she found it.

Colleen created this beautiful roster for the players she wants on her team in life. Typically, this is an exercise of "Who do you want in your inner circle?"

Sometimes that question can be a challenge. How do you decide?

Colleen, being a long-time softball player with a huge heart for the game, found a way to build her team in relation to something she already had a passion for in life. For her, creating a softball line up made the most sense.

So I share with you, the role of each player on the field in reference to Colleen as the Pitcher.

I hope you find inspiration to create a team that you can relate to. I hope you find an opportunity to allow those closest to you to be the ones that always work towards a win and always have your back.


The Roster

1) Pitcher - I went with the premise that I am the pitcher, so the people on my team are in relation to me as the pitcher, building the team the way I would as a pitcher, the qualities and characteristics that I look for in each position. 

2) Catcher - My Catcher - We're in contact a lot, getting and giving constant feedback. We've connected at a level, that the trust is deep, and we have real communication at all times. It's a safe place to share, and it is expected because that's/what makes the relationship work. We share from a space of self-reflection, to continue to strengthen our relationship with each other, as well as our relationships with the others on our team. They are close - if I am out of alignment, they will see it and call me on it - and I trust and respect them enough to hear it for what it is, feedback. They set the rhythm and call the pitches they want to see, for the most part, and I am free to shake them off and ask for a different pitch. We both realize that since we interact SO much, we are going to get to see and love each other where we are at. We are also both committed to shift - meaning we get to love each other where we are at, AND encourage forward movement when stuck. 

3) First Baseman - They are SOLID in who they BE. Although we don't interact a ton, our energies are connected and work symbiotically. I know I can count on them to stretch to get that close out when I ask them to. Our interactions tend to be shorter bursts - purposeful and concise. They are also close enough to see what's going on, and can offer a different perspective than I have around what's working, what's not, and what's next. This feedback gets to be requested throughout the inning if I need it, or at regularly scheduled intervals (like between innings). They can't do their job if I don't do mine (throw a pitch they can hit) - I get to be willing to play the game and trust my team. On trust, I trust that if the ball goes into play, they will do their part to make the play. And they can trust that I will set them up for success - if they go in to cover a bunt, I won't throw a pitch they can blast back at them as a line-drive. They are positive and encouraging and close enough for me to hear it. 

4) Second Baseman - They have a similar skill-set capacity as other in-fielders, but are not called on as often. They get to play back-up support in case the first baseman misses a throw, the shortstop misses a throw to 2nd, etc. They have a great range - from side-to-side and cover from 2nd base to behind first. They are solid with anything hit to them - line-drives, bouncers, pop-ups, high-fly balls - whatever it is, they can handle it. They KNOW the game - and I can trust that if the ball is hit to their side, they'll be there and will have it. They are my cut-off from right field - able to stand in the gap, receive and move it on to get the out - and the discretion to know when to intercept and the precision to execute the throw for a tag-out. They are focused - and that energetic focus-bubble overlaps mine and gives me strength and confidence. Connection is not always verbal communication - sometimes as simple as eye-contact or a head-nod (social media touches, etc.). They'll get dirty and dive for a ball if that is what is needed and asked of them, and only if I am also willing to do the same. They have the grit to do whatever it takes to make the out - digging it out to make a diving catch for that far-out fly ball. They are Ground and Center.

5) Third Baseman - They are fierce, bold and fearless - all incredible and necessary qualities for a 3rd baseman. Their reaction time is FAST! They are solid in who they be and where they plays best. They know their lane and play well within it. They are incredible at the short game - bunts, pop-ups, quick line-drives - they are all over them with a quick reaction and solid execution to get the out. When it comes to ideas and short opportunities, they are my person to get quick feedback from. I trust them completely, to do their job. I value their opinion. We don't connect a lot, AND when we do connect the outcome is powerful. They know the game inside-out and backwards - and they are willing to take on the top team in the league without fear. I also get to be cognizant of how close they are, and how their energy bubble can overlap mine and affect me - I get to be clean on what is mine and what is theirs after a play, and be safe to clear-off. I also get to support them in shifting and getting out of their head, or stepping away and giving space when it happens - just because they are on my team and in my circle does not mean I get to take on their junk and energy unless it serves a win-win. If I take it on, I let down the rest of the team.

6) Shortstop - They are my right side - the voice I listen extra close to when they speak up, as it is usually a nugget that will support the whole team in executing the play successfully. They are my first-line of defense  - no matter what comes, they are a vacuum, somehow pulling in and getting to every ball hit to the left side of the diamond. Their range, from side-to-side and the depth to bridge the gap between me and what the left fielder can reach is incredible. They are quick on their feet - resourceful and adaptable. They are focused on the game AND encouraging me and the whole team at the same time. They are going to hold me capable - and will give me feedback when I get to shift to create better results. Sometimes I get to ask for that feedback if I know I am struggling, and sometimes they'll see I'm struggling and they'll offer up some feedback to support a shift. They are strong, decisive and a fierce competitor, and will hold me capable. Their presence is felt throughout the diamond - everyone on the field can feel it and feeds off it - its powerful and contagious! They are loud - louder than the competition, louder than the haters, louder than the critic, louder than the doubters ... They use their voice to encourage, support and call me on my shit so we come out with a win as a team.

7) Left Fielder - Their skill is the long-game! We connect for specific purposes, and not all the time. Sometimes they get up close for a short fly, or to cover for our infield, and other times they are a ways off, chasing a long-fly ball to the fence. They get in my face and push me when I need it, but also encourage and support from a distance. They keep me grounded and focused on MY game because I know they have their field covered - I can't catch a fly ball to save my life, and its where they excel, so I let them do their job. They push me to work hard and go for my goals. They are inspirational - the lengths they'll go to help me win. They have depth, and are willing to go the distance to help me create a win. They have a different, distanced perspective and can see things I and my infield are too close to see. They also give feedback when asked, or if I need to hear it. Their job is made easier when I do my job, so they are going to be letting me know between innings how, when and where I need to shift.

8) Center Fielder - They are my rock, my cheerleader, and they have the capacity to go the distance if I need it. They have the skill, experience and position to be able to see the field like no one else on the team, and they read the game so well that their feedback carries extra weight. We don't connect a lot, but when we do it is powerful and game-changing. Despite the distance, there is a connection and respect that translates even without a lot of communication or direct contact. They have a powerful voice to direct the play, mid-play - I trust that when/if they see something that needs to shift mid-play, they'll call it out and everyone will shift. They have the trust of everyone on the diamond, and the team feeds off their energy and shifts with their feedback. They tend to be high-level strategy feedback between innings, versus nitty-gritty detail feedback on my mechanics, etc. They are the only one I trust to make the deep catch at the fence and fire it home for the tag-out of the tag-and-go runner from third. They are watching the whole game, and while the focus is not on my specific performance, their feedback for me is still powerful because they know what I need to hear based on the results in other areas of the game and team.

9) Right Fielder - They are always moving, putting in the effort, even when no one is looking. Although they don't get a lot hit to them, they are always ready - keeping their mind sharp, covering at first for possible over-throws, backing up the in-fielders on her side. They are the one I check on, energetically, to see how we are doing as a team. They are the end of the chain, so if they are down or disconnected, then our team connection is broken somewhere. They are eager, endless energy, and there to cheer everyone on. They energetically hold the energy 'in' the infield. I can count on them for encouragement, and support sporadically throughout the game - even if I do not see/hear them, I know and trust they are there and ready. They are HUSSLE - and hold the context for the team around hustle, urgency, and get-r-done. 


What Roster would you create? Who would be on your team? What role do they play in your life? How are you surrounding yourself with people that are going to be there for you all to win? <3

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Thoughts from a book I am working on. Is the someone you? or someone you know?

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