–submitted by Roger Phelps; photo by John Bonsett-Veal
We were talking softball at the July 19 Rotary meeting. Why? Because our guest speaker was the UW best winning softball coach in the program’s 19-year history, Yvette Healy. That’s why!
Coach Healy approached the Rotary podium pretty much the way she approaches her job as UW’s softball head coach – with a ton of energy, inspiration and positive thinking.
A native of Chicago, she is in her 8th year as UW Head Coach. Prior to moving to Madison, she was the head coach at Loyola University. Moving to Wisconsin wasn’t easy, she comments. She was an ardent Bears and Cubs fan before arriving. But, she’s adapting and excelling in her job.
She was hired to turn around a struggling UW softball team, and turn it around she did. Under her leadership, the team has consistently moved up in the ranking and now eyes a Big Ten Championship ranking next year. She owes a lot of her motivation approaches to the inspiration she has gained through a handful of inspirational authors whose words echo in her coaching: “Do something that scares you;” “Just say yes;” “Believe it;” “If you have a big enough WHY, you’ll find a way HOW;” “Take action. Don’t fill your head with possibilities of negative outcomes;” “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough;” and “It’s not the best team that wins. It’s the team the plays the best.”
She made a special point of citing Madison itself as one of the advantages she has in recruiting top talent to UW. They see this special place and want to be here.
Coach Healy left her Rotarian audience with three final thoughts: 1) When asked whether you’ve accomplished something, never say no. Say Not Yet!; 2) Show pride of the team you lead. Tell each of them you’re proud of them, and tell them why; and 3) Imagine how good things could be!