After beginning the season with two losses, five straight wins, and spiraling back to three consecutive losses, the softball team works hard for another win. During their winning streak, the team took the phrase ‘practice like you play’ to another level. Taking new plays and ideas to the field with hopes of increasing their game, the Lady Titans took their time and focused on one game at a time. With the goal of having a winning season in mind, Coach Andy Alhadeff worked on evolving the team as a whole before the season began during summer practices.
“The biggest difference from this year to last year is the girls’ effort over the summer. They came in during workouts and put in a lot of effort to improve their game and the results have shown. The girls are doing all that the coaches are asking and they are putting the time and commitment into this team and the game. The biggest challenge to winning is complacency and not just thinking that you can go out and win,” Coach Alhadeff said.
The group summer practices paid off for the Lady Titans. The advantage of knowing their teammates on a more intimate level, both athletically and personally, helped the team become closer. They were able to learn and grow in their strengths, weaknesses, and as individual players, which increases their game.
“The coaches do a great job of preparing us with off-season workouts and practices in between games. Playing three or four games every week of the season is physically challenging because everyone has to be focused and ready for every game. Winning any game is difficult because we face really good competition day in and day out. The team is focused this year, we want to win and everyone is committed to working hard to improve and win,” senior and captain Madison Brown said.
Suffering from losses from teams such as Chattahoochee and Alpharetta put things into perspective for the Titan Softball players. They have grown as a team and do not let the defeats affect them, rather learning from their mistakes and working to become better. The winning streak boosted the team’s morale and confidence in themselves and one another thanks to better communication within the team.
“The responsibilities [as a captain] have not changed but this year we have been communicating more and trying to be more focused as well and encouraging everyone on the team. The five game win streak has given the team confidence to know that they can compete with teams in our region and play to their best ability. They know that we can win games when we play as a team,” Brown said.
The pressure to win affects the player and the parents. Ms. Kim Brown, Madison Brown’s mother explains how the pressure of a fall sport affects her family and how they bounce back, specifically detailing Madison and her team’s victories and how it is imperative to be organized and encourage your teammates.
“The encouragement the girls provide each other makes them a better team. The softball team’s victories are a result of the hard work that the girls have put in during practice and games. Every game starts a new opportunity, every at-bat is a new opportunity, and every pitch is a new opportunity, the girls have taken those opportunities and turned them into wins,” Ms. Brown said.