Today was UK Baseball and Softball Media Day, and although I’m far from a UK Softball expert, this clip of head coach Rachel Lawson talking about senior Shannon Smith caught my attention. When asked why she prefers to say “retooling” her squad instead of “rebuilding,” Lawson got a little choked up while describing the responsibility she feels towards her senior class, specifically Smith.
“I don’t like to talk about replacing players. I like to talk about succeeding players — because the bottom line is this is Shannon Smith’s senior year. It’s important to me that Shannon Smith has a big senior year, so I have to make sure that I’m retooling every single time that I have a senior class. I have to make sure that I’m retooling.”
Lawson broke off to gather herself, when Smith piped up from the offstage, “It’s not even Senior Day yet,” drawing laughter and lightening the mood.
“I’m really not that soft, but gosh, I come off like it, geez,” Lawson laughed. “Everybody is important to me and everybody’s career is important to me. If you just try to figure out how to rebuild, all you’re doing is you’re saying all of the people on my team can’t get it done. Basically what I’m doing is admitting that I’ve wasted their last four years. And, I’m not going to do that. So, when I coach, I not only think about winning now, I think about winning in 10 days, I think about winning at the end of the season, I think about how I’m going to win next year, and I’m thinking about how I’m going to be able to develop my current freshman class so that they can be standing in Oklahoma City. So all of those things are going on in my mind the entire time that I’m coaching — so it’s not a marketing tool at all, it’s how I like to do things.”
Perfectly said, and even more moving when you watch the clip below, courtesy of KSTV:
– KSTV (@KSTV_Sports) February 6, 2017