Softball

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    News Update

    January 31, 2003

    AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE IU COACHING STAFF

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    A Q&A WITH HEAD COACH SARA HAYES

    Why did you decide to pursue coaching as a profession?

    • To help student-athletes accomplish great things on and off the field, to help them earn a nationally recognized degree, compete and win against the top teams in the nation, and grow individually––all while keeping these things in the great perspective of life and having fun. That is why I love to coach.

    • To harness their enthusiasm and focus it toward their goals.

    • Because the best moment in coaching is when a student-athlete puts something together and her eyes light up as a smile comes across her face. It's simply awesome.

    The thing that impresses me the most about collegiate softball is...?

    The precision needed in communication and performance to play with such speed, quickness, and accuracy.

    I came to Indiana because...?

    It is an ELITE combination of an award-winning educational institution and a championship-garnering athletics department. National respect has been built through the great tradition of both aspects. To have the opportunity to represent the name "Indiana" is an honor that I have always dreamed about.

    What three words would you use to describe yourself?

    Passionate, determined, and visionary

    Who were your sports heroes as a child?

    Mike Scioscia, Magic Johnson, and Cheryl Miller

    What is your favorite magazine and why?

    National Geographic - As an Anthropology major, I have always absorbed information regarding people's experiences and cultures. The pictures are amazing and at some point in my life, I hope I can use my camera to capture some of the emotion and sentiment that the National Geographic photographers do in the magazine.

    What is your greatest ambition?

    Although winning a National Championship is a career goal, I think that my greatest ambition is to approach everyday of my life with enthusiasm, a sense of humor, integrity, and determination to do something great.

    What is the one line from a movie that you are constantly repeating?

    "You can do it!" from The Water Boy.

    What is the best advice you have ever heard and who did it come from?

    "You can do anything that you set your mind to, through hard work."- My mom and dad - Dan and Susan Hayes.

    What is your most memorable sports moment?

    As a player: Me being a power hitter for Notre Dame and already having two 2-home run games in the Hawaii Invitational Tournament, putting down a suicide bunt to beat DePaul.

    As a coach: Watching--and trying to stay out of the way--as our team rolls over four opponents in the 1999 NCAA Chicago Regional with ease, like a finely tuned machine, on our way to the Women's College World Series where we knocked off Arizona and Southern Miss and finished third in the nation.

    What is the one TV show you never miss if you can help it?

    CSI!!!!...but also West Wing and 24 are very well written and captivating.

    Any relatives that played a sport in college or professionally?

    My dad played football for John Madden and Joe Gibbs at San Diego State. I had a first cousin swim at Texas A&M, a cousin who played water polo at Villanova, and three second-cousins who played football (as quarterback) at Stanford, football at Cornell, and softball at Wisconsin.

    The one person who has had the most influence on my athletic career is...?

    Primarily - my mom and dad; Secondarily, Eugene Lenti the Head Softball Coach at DePaul, Barbara Hedges the AD at Washington, and Liz Miller who coached me at Notre Dame.

    If you could have only four CDs, none of them mixed, what would they be?

    U2, Bruce Springsteen, Les Miserables, and Pink (and one more...Moulin Rouge)

    Do you have any nicknames growing up with family or now with your teammates...and what's the story behind them?

    Bear - Sara Bear; Purple - Purple Haze; and Seven - my number in college.

    What most excites you about implementing your program at Indiana University?

    I think what is most exciting is the cohesion of our staff and the opportunity to put together (assistant coaches) Mickey (Dean) and Kathy's (Morton) experience and wisdom. It is really fun to see how recruits have reacted to "Indiana", but also our current team. To see our team open up this fall was awesome. They are so excited and having a lot of fun and working hard trying to understand our vision and implementing that vision. I think the staff is the most exciting part of this job right now. Being able to work with the team, and the staff, and to map out our future and find a way to make it work is fun.

    How do people view the Indiana softball program?

    I think people's expectations are pretty high because of where our staff comes from. Internally, at this time there is not a tremendous amount of pressure because this program has struggled as of late but there is always an expectation that the program is going to be headed in the right direction. There is definitely little pressure and awareness in the community, which is exciting because we are going to bring all of that to them.

    How do you change the culture of Indiana softball?

    We are going to set high goals and work really hard. The hardest thing to fight through with a lack of success is to teach everybody to have those expectations and the process of how to get there, because it is going to take a while. It is so entrenched in the mentality of the kids. It is really something we have not touched with them. It is something we are aware of. This year our goal is to relax and have fun and instill in the team the work ethic and the processes that are needed in the next years to be successful. We have to be mentally tough, honest, and communicate well. We know how to get things done. Those things are really going to turn over into the future years.

    How can this team help the future of the program, even if there may be growing pains along the way?

    This team has the ability to make wonderful contributions to the success and longevity of this program. The long-term health of this program is extremely important and this year's team will play a major factor in that development. The fact that they are hosting recruits, and their ability to be successful in dealing with them, is almost more important than the wins and the losses, although we as a staff are very competitive and our team will become a reflection of that attitude. They work so hard and are so eager to work hard. At the end of the year, they can be proud of what they have done.

    This team seems to have a number of highly competitive student-athletes in terms of their approach to the game...?

    They came to the Big Ten for a reason, to compete at the highest level and to be a part of something great. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. This year they will be a part of something great, regardless of what the numbers say.

    What are the strengths of your staff?

    Our staff is awesome. I think we are the hardest working staff in America. My assistants relate very well to the girls because they have experienced so much, both on and off the field. They are both the first in their families to be college educated. They are visionary and hard working by nature. They have good family support behind them and they are good people. They represent IU well, are hard working, and make intelligent decisions. They are good models for the kids. I think the sense of humor and lightness they bring to practices really helps the kids relax and has increased the ability for us to transition as fast as we have. The girls have picked up on a lot and it is because of how light and fun we have been with them. It is not so serious. It is a game and all three of us approach it that way.

    What is it like recruiting at Indiana?

    To have the name Indiana and make our first recruiting phone calls was awesome, just awesome, because of what we are representing and because of the automatic name recognition. Our job then is to attract the highest quality student-athletes and prove to them that they can contribute here.

    How will your experience building a program at DePaul and Northern Iowa assist you in this process at Indiana?

    My experience helping to improve the DePaul program was an awesome help in my preparation for this position. For that matter every step along the way. Being a part of Notre Dame and then at Northern Iowa, where again our goal was to turn things around.

    What are several keys for a successful 2003 campaign?

    Defense is the stabilizer, but offense is where you look to be aggressive and to be consistent. I always have believed that if the offense is rolling, the entire game is going to go a lot more smoothly. We're concentrating on what we need to do to execute at a high level and have the confidence to do so. Our team has to understand the game and keep it simple. We can't think too much. That's what we are going to work on through the winter.

    A Q&A WITH COACH MICKEY DEAN

    The Reason I became a coach was...?

    To share my experiences with young athletes. To see players light up when they "get it". To empower players so they may reach new heights and obtain goals they once thought were impossible.

    The thing that impresses me most about softball at the collegiate level is...?

    The commitment and dedication from the administrators to the players. The awesome responsibility student-athletes have on them as far as academics, conditioning, practice and handling the peer pressure of a social life.

    I came to Indiana because...?

    I had an opportunity to participate and coach at one of the top educational and athletic programs in the country. It is also the opportunity to excel as a person and a coach.

    What three words would you use to describe yourself?

    Aggressive, Competitive, Passionate.

    Who was your sports hero as a little kid?

    Brooks Robinson

    What is your favorite pre-tournament meal and/or superstition?

    Sugarless Bubble Yum

    What is your favorite magazine and why?

    FCA Magazine. It enables me to read about and receive advice from top coaches and athletes.

    What is your greatest ambition?

    As a coach it is to win the National Championship. I would also like to coach in the Olympics.

    What's the best advice I have ever heard and who did it come from?

    Do right! - Lou Holtz

    What's your most memorable sports moment is?

    It is a tie between playing in the NAIA College World Series and winning the NJCAA Softball National Championship.

    What's the TV show you never miss if you can help it?

    ER.

    The person(s) who has had the most influence on my athletic career is...

    Ray Heatwole and Rick Jones

    If you could have only four CDs, none of them mixed, what would they be?

    AC/DC (Back in Black), Ronnie Milsap, Alabama Greatest Hits, and any Michael Jackson.

    A Q&A WITH COACH KATHY MORTON

    The Reason I became a coach was...?

    To help student-athletes become productive players and grow as people.

    The thing that impresses me most about softball at the collegiate level is...?

    How the competition continues to get stronger every year. There is no longer just one team that dominates; any team can be beaten at any time. I came to Indiana because of the opportunity to assist in taking this program to the top, and becoming nationally recognized.

    What three words would you use to describe yourself?

    Fun, Flexible, and More Fun.

    Who was your sports hero as a little kid?

    Steffi Graf, Jose Canseco.

    What is your favorite magazine and why?

    ESPN is my favorite magazine; it has great articles about athletes in every sport.

    What is your greatest ambition?

    My greatest ambition is to make a difference in the lives of others by the work that I do.

    What is the one line from a movie that you are constantly repeating?

    With a lisp...INCONCEIVABLE! - The Princess Bride

    What's the best advice you have ever heard and who did it come from?

    Always be nice to the people you meet because you never know when you are going to need them. - My brother John.

    What's your most memorable sports moment?

    My most memorable sports moment is when I played baseball and I was in right field and the New York Yankees were warming up behind me.

    Also, playing at Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play, in front of 33,000 people. The sound of the crowd roaring after I had got a hit was unforgettable.

    What's the TV show you never miss if you can help it?

    I try to NEVER miss ER.

    The person(s) who has had the most influence on my athletic career is...?

    Yvette Girouard (LSU) and Patrick Murphy (Alabama) - They were my coaches in college and they helped me become a better player while also supporting me off the field and helping me grow as a person.

    If you could have only four CDs, none of them mixed, what would they be?

    Madonna (True Blue), About Last Night Soundtrack, Some Kind of Wonderful Soundtrack, and George Strait (Greatest Hits)



     

     


       

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