Congratulations & Thank You Coach Murray For 20 Years of Coaching!
The WSSA would like to congratulate and thank Coach Murray Rundle for 20 years as a coach! Our association is so fortunate for Murray’s continued dedication and support!
Murray has coached for his sons and is currently coaching his daughter’s U14 team. Throughout this time, Murray has demonstrated all the qualities of a great coach. Players always remember Coach Murray as “fair and fun!”, as he “always gives everyone a chance to play and improve”. We are incredibly thankful for all the hours Murray has dedicated throughout the years, both as a coach and a volunteer. He continues to create an environment that encompasses the WSSA’s mission: matching skill competency with the level of competition to maximize the “fun factor”.
We were also very fortunate to have asked Murray to share some of his coaching experiences with us. As Murray continues to be such an amazing coach, we hope some of his stories can inspire others. Below are a few notes from the long-time coach…
Why did you start coaching?
I started coaching softball when my firstborn son was just starting to play and have coached each of my four kids and their teams over the past several years. My youngest, Grace is currently U14 and looking forward to this season. I had the privilege of playing softball throughout my childhood and teenage years in southwestern Ontario and I wanted my children to also have a positive team sport experience. As a parent who wanted to be involved, I figured I might as well dive right in and learn to coach. So I guess it was a combination of a love for the sport, a desire to be involved and an interest in sharing in the development of young players.
What is your favourite part of coaching/favourite coaching memory?
One of the most rewarding parts of coaching is watching the players execute a play as it’s been practiced, like an out at first, or a simple base hit, or a caught fly ball. Seeing a player hit the ball for the first time in a game setting has been a special joy for me. I’ve also enjoyed watching the players develop over the longer term; seeing them improve their skills over a number of seasons is very rewarding. I can remember some underdog victories at the end of season tournament where everything just seemed to come together. Those tournament weekends were exciting but equally as much fun were the team pool parties and barbeques!
What is something you have learned through your coaching experience?
I have learned to keep my instructions simple and to focus on the basic building blocks of the game like how to throw, how to catch, making contact with the ball, base running, and the basic strategy of the game etc. I’ve learned the power of encouragement and a positive attitude. What a difference that can make! I’ve learned to focus on the fun and not the winning. I love to compete but I’ve learned that the result of the game is not nearly as important as the participation and development of each player. And I’ve learned the value of working closely with the other coaches and parents to spread out the responsibilities and learn from one another.
What advice do you have for a new coach?
Take the time to read about how to coach the sport and become a student of the game. There’s tons of very good information available. You’re not alone and many have documented practice plans and coaching tips. Take advantage of those learnings and apply them to your own experience. The league training sessions are super helpful to get to know what is expected and an overview of the coaching responsibilities etc. I would encourage them to participate in those sessions for sure. And I would encourage them to surround themselves with other like minded parents who share a love for the sport and for coaching. I’ve found that much of what I’ve learned over the years has been from the coaches I’ve worked with or watching the coaches who have coached my kids at a competitive level.
A big congratulations and thank you to Coach Murray on his 20th season as a Coach! We can not express how much of an asset Murray has been to the WSSA family! We look forward to seeing him out on the diamond for many more years to come!