I can talk softball all day
Cindy Bristow - Coaches Corner5 Lessons from a Legend
Smile Your Way Through Life – Mary had a confidence and certainty that made people depend on her and defer to her in times of crisis and yet she always did it with a smile on her face. I never realized just how much Mary smiled until I sat at her funeral watching picture after picture. From cooking to vacationing to clinics to the Women’s College World Series, in every single picture Mary had a HUGE smile on her face – in fact, she had the BIGGEST smile in every picture! So even though we were all there for a sad reason Mary’s smile reached through the screen and uplifted us all. Mary Nutter definitely Smiled Her Way Through Life!
Do It Anyway – 20 years ago Mary was a college softball coach and as the life of a college softball coach goes, suddenly found herself out of a job. Having NO idea what she was going to do she started a softball clinic in Kansas City. Filled with doubt Mary bet her life savings on her idea to help softball players get better by teaching their coaches. And yet, she had no idea how to do it. That’s hard for anyone reading this to understand since softball clinics are all over the place but 20 years ago that wasn’t the case. In fact, there weren’t any clinics. Mary had no roadmap to follow so she made it up. She lacked confidence, experience and certainly, but she did it anyway. And now 20 years later the National Sports Clinics are the biggest softball clinics in the country and have educated well over 50,000 softball coaches and over 750,000 softball players. Mary Nutter didn’t know how to run a softball clinic but she did it anyway!
Lift Up Others – One of the common traits of high performers is an extreme focus. Typically, that focus is directed inward, toward that person’s own performance or career. But Mary Nutter was different – she made a career of helping others lift themselves up. Whether helping a speaker or coach or vendor at one of her clinics, or working with one of her church committees, or taking her friends and family members on vacation, driving a pitching machine to a coach to save on shipping or cooking with her good friend Debbie, Mary was always lifting others up. Too often we think to be successful we’ve got to shut out the outside world and work, work, work but Mary Nutter taught me that letting the outside in by helping and lifting up others is really your measure of success.
Mix It Up – Balance is something successful people rarely achieve and yet this two-time hall of famer had incredible balance. From gardening, to catering, to canning, to church, to golf, to her clinics, to travel, to her recruiting tournaments Mary Nutter mixed it up! This kind of diversity gave her the balance and energy to lead such an enjoyable life. Mary Nutter taught me that I need to mix it up and give more of myself to more things instead of pouring more into the same things.
Slingshot the Gorge – The week before she died Mary Nutter strapped herself into a giant rubberband and slingshotted herself screaming across Colorado’s Royal Gorge. 1200 feet in the air going 50 miles per hour Mary Nutter never wanted to go home saying “I should have done that”. Instead, she grabbed life wherever she found it and she went out slingshotting the gorge.
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