I ran across this article about hustle by Dick Smith, Head Coach at the University of St. Francis, and I thought it was well worth sharing. Here’s just a quick recap, you can read the full article here.
The Real Definition of Hustle
By Dick Smith, Head Coach – University of St. Francis
“….During this past season I was at field and watched a team get off a bus. Slovenly? A compliment. Hustle? Not a hint. They played in the same tacky manner. The team was there for something other than softball; the coaches exhibited a similar attitude.
Hustle is something we can control. The demands we make of our teams must include this essential element, but our teams must be made aware of our definition of the word.
Do we merely want out teams to jog on and off the field, run after errant softballs, and talk it up during play? This is the more common definition, and most players understand it as such.
My definition of hustle includes many things. The first is PRIDE in appearance and conduct. A spirited, hustling team will come to the field dressed sharply, on the run, and will enthusiastically be looking forward to the impending competition. Equipment will be in prime condition and will be handled with care. If not clean, the bench area will be immediately groomed and prepared for equipment and players. Personal gear will be dealt with in a like manner by all.
As the well-prepared, hustling team takes to the practice field, it will do so at a slow trot, which gradually increases in pace as muscles being to get warm. Team stretching begins with enthusiasm and gusto, after which there is sprinting and throwing.
Other pre-game activities continue with the same vitality up to the time of infield practice. This is equally spirited and full of excitement and zeal.
When the game commences, a hustling team takes to the field at an all-out sprint. This accomplishes several things. It provides a practice run to first base; it gets players in position to receive more practice throws; it impresses umpires, spectators, and the opponents.
When coming off the field, the same hard sprint is used by the players on the hustling teams. This gives them another practice run, more time to get in and take practice swings, more time to watch the opposing pitcher, more time for the coach to relay to the team something he/she may have seen or want to change/commute with the team, and to continue to impress the umpires/spectators….”
To read more about Dick Smith, Go to Fighting Saints.com, the official athletic website of the University of St. Francis.