Game Readiness and Life: A Softball Coach on Learning Skills

It was a tough defeat for the Shelter Island University football team on the road against Pierson on April 12th. But according to coach Christine Andrejak, the end result didn’t tell the whole story.

“We had a rough start,” he said. “We showed a lot of nerves, but then we decided and we were equal at the end of the game and our team showed a lot of confidence.”

The coach, who is also a physical education and health teacher at Shelter Island School, said “from pre-school age to seniors” that coaching is in many ways an extension of education. “It’s a division between skills and training structure to players who are new to learning” and coaching strategies and decision making in the game. “We have a few returning athletes, but there are a lot of newcomers.”

Every sport requires practice and repetition, and even returning players “always have to improve their skills,” the coach said.

The university team is a large group of 17 players, bequeathed by coach Andrejak and the girls who came out to wear the colors of the island. She was especially pleased with the number of girls on the team who were not fully acquainted with the game at an organized level.

“For some of them, it’s the first time they’ve played softball and it’s great to see them take a risk, step out of their comfort zone and join the university team,” he said. “It shows the courage of these young women.”

A prominent high school athlete himself, a Jamesport native played volleyball, basketball, and softball at Riverhead High School. A graduate of SUNY Cortland, coach Andrejak lives in West Hampton.

Getting the focus on the athletes, especially the youngsters, is the key to a successful team, and the coach emphasizes that, but he has dedicated the skill to what he describes as “team leaders”.

The team has two captains, Isabella Fonseca and Bella Springer. Returning captains and veterans “always want to get better and the younger players find that they enjoy the game and the race. We have some real role models in this team. ”

Players learn the skills they will need to get out of a soft diamond. “Those leadership skills will help these players in their future endeavors throughout their lives,” coach Andrzejek said.

Seeing the communication between the players, he noted, by preparing each other before going out on the field to defend and calling each other during the game when they are on the field.

A game on the coaches ’and players’ calendar is May 10, the return game with Pierce, this time at Islanders. “It’s a great game,” the coach said.

Game for players Day of the elderly, as well as fundraising for “

”Is a national organization that uses funds for cancer research and assistance programs. It will also be a second chance to get Shelter Island’s longtime rival and maybe even a little score.

“Oh, we’re looking forward to seeing Pierson,” coach Andrzejek said.

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