Hawks Softball is more than keeping your eye on the ball.
“Player confidence, self-actualization, accountability and versatility has been the driving force behind our girls softball organization,” said Coach Tracy Wilmes of the 10U and 12U Hawks.
Coaching the “intangibles” to Generation Z has always been a slippery slope. Often, young athletes fall victim to immediate gratification and are all about the “win.” By teaching young athletes how to self-critique and have self-actualization, and be a believer in themselves, they become more confident and are more willing to put the long-term in front of the short-term. This learning will have life-long effects and far outweighs an immediate “win” or any numbers put up on the score board.
The goal of the Hawks Softball organization is to create a renaissance to hard work and to a commitment to themselves, the team and the community.
Wilmes said they have implemented player marketability into their softball program. Young female athletes are taught how to play multiple positions on the softball field so they can learn and adapt to the game much more quickly than a one-dimensional player. Moreover, the players are taught diversity in the batter’s box. The players learn to switch hit, slap hit, and bunt from both sides of the plate.
Increasing player’s softball IQ is an ongoing education, Wilmes said.
“We start off simple with proper biomechanics and simple situations with simple outcomes," Wilmes said. "Then we build upon that foundation with key strategies and complex scenarios to prepare them for a higher-level playing of the game. However, just like many new educational experiences, there is a learning curve that the athletes must overcome. Players are taught how to adapt and deal with this adversity, which grows their self-confidence even more and allows us to hold our young athletes accountable. This confidence transcends from the softball field into their personal life, and will positively impact their work ethic in the future.”
As a result, the Hawks Softball program has made history this fall travel ball season.
“Ladies, today we get to be part of something much greater than ourselves. Today we get to make Hawks softball history,” said Wilmes just before the first pitch was ever thrown for a new 12U Hawks Girls Fastpitch Softball team at tournament in Enterprise, Alabama, recently.
This fall, the Hawks softball organization has three brand new teams competing in tournaments located in Florida and Alabama. Not only are they competing with top teams throughout the southeast, they are being challenged by the daily pressures of life as a Gen Z, as well as their own entitlement attitude.
“As a dad of a 10-year old girl, instilling confidence and self-assuredness in all of our daughters is a critical goal of mine. Hawks softball will not only develop young female athletes, but also self-reliant and confident women,” Wilmes said.
The 10U and 12U Hawks are coached by Wilmes. The 14U Hawks is coached by Head Coach Steve Cline.