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By: Coach Katherine Smith ’92,Varsity Softball Coach // MDS Musings Blog

Coach Katherine Smith, courtesy of Miguel Garcia

MDS Athletic Director Coach Hatcher assigned all coaches to read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon this summer, and, honestly, I wasn’t pumped about it. I don’t even have time to read for fun, so why would I want to read something over my break about positive energy?  Coach Hatcher told us the book would be life-changing, and again, I thought, “yeah right.” But, guess what? Coach Hatcher was correct!

I absolutely loved the book. It has changed my outlook on life with everything including my family, friends, teaching, and coaching! So often, we focus on the negative things that happen to us, and The Energy Bus emphasizes the importance of positive energy which is defined as having “optimism, trust, enthusiasm, love, purpose, joy, passion, and the spirit to live, work, and perform at a higher level.” Positivity is contagious and must be shared so negative people, energy vampires, are not allowed to sabotage the success of other individuals who are part of a team or group.  My favorite quote from the book is “positive people and positive teams produce positive results, and the essential ingredient is positive energy.” We are the drivers of our own buses, and we are in control of where we go, who goes with us, and what the ride will be like.  We want our passengers to be winners, not whiners, because these people will knock us off of our course. We must surround ourselves with positive people!

At this summer’s first softball practice, I shared the main points of the book with my team and told them that I want our focus this season to be on POSITIVE ENERGY. Our team’s success is dependent on it, and  it is necessary for us to ALL be passengers on the Energy Bus. ENERGY VAMPIRES are harmful to our team goals, and if we are positive, we will produce positive results. I love what I am seeing with these girls. They have been so upbeat and positive with each other, and I’m witnessing the development of trusting relationships. And it makes me so happy! Occasionally, I even hear one of them say, “Don’t be an energy vampire” or “Are you on the energy bus?” They’ve realized how important POSITIVE ENERGY is for our softball program!

Thank you, Coach Hatcher, for making us read The Energy Bus. Yes, I had a negative attitude at the start of the summer. I was an energy vampire! But, I can now say I am the driver of my bus and plan to have an awesome ride, and I have some pretty amazing girls riding with me!