Coach Smith Reflects on Fall Season

Dec. 8, 2009


After seeing the Kansas softball team in action for the first time, first-year head coach Megan Smith reflects on the team and how she feels the fall season was a great start to the 2010 season.

Q: With the fall season over, what things did you see about the team that you really liked?

“Our team worked really hard. The coaching staff had a lot of challenges we threw at them and the team answered back and worked extremely hard this fall. They have really come together as a team, they communicate well and work together really well. I think they have really good chemistry, which is going to help us this spring.”

Q: What things did you see that the team still needs to work really hard at?

“We have a lack of depth, but that is something the players can’t control and I can’t control. So we need to continue to work as hard as we can to find players that can fill in to add depth in some nontraditional roles. We need to focus on the things we can control and work extremely hard to overcome that issue.”

Q: What were you most pleasantly surprised by during the fall?

“I was pleasantly surprised with the leadership that emerged. We had a couple players that really stepped up and took on a leadership role. We have a lot of great leaders on the team but I thought Brittany Hile and Sara Ramirez really embraced what we were trying to do and tried to get everyone moving in a positive direction. Our freshmen also stepped up and did some really good things. They performed well and challenged everyone at practice.”

Q: How do you feel fall practices went?

“I thought they went really well. We worked really hard. I tried to mix things up a little bit to keep it less monotonous. We did a lot of one-on-one work, and I think they saw a lot of benefits from that. We also did a lot of video work, which I know the team really liked and saw some improvements from that. Overall, I thought it was a really good fall and really productive. I think the team completely understands what my expectations are now. That was a big part of the fall, getting the team introduced to the way I do things and the way we are going to do things from now.”

Q: What things did you work on in practice that you feel translated well in the games?

“Defense was our strong suit this fall in our games. We really preached to the team the fundamentals and worked on fundamentals everyday. I tell them that we work so hard on the little things so when we get in a game, those things just happen naturally. Our infielders made a lot of good plays and it was just natural for them. That was the biggest thing I saw translate from practice to the game.”

Q: How would you describe your 2010 team?

“The thing others will notice about our 2010 team is their heart and their desire. They work really hard and they are invested in what we are doing here. You can see that when they are out on the field. They genuinely want to do well, genuinely want to improve and genuinely want to win. Regardless of the outcome, I know we can’t predict that, I know every time they go out they are going to work extremely hard. They are going to have the heart and the desire.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the 2010 season?

“I am looking forward to seeing some players who really didn’t have a shining role in past seasons step up and get a chance to do that this year. I think we are going to see some girls who maybe were in the background last year step up and have to be in the spotlight. It is always fun to watch how they respond to that and if they are up to the challenge, and I think they will be. I am also looking forward to watching our freshmen go through a college season. Fall games are fun but they are nothing like what they are going to see this spring. It is going to be fun to watch our freshmen and how they adapt to it and how they handle the rigors of a full college season.”

Q: How has the freshmen class adapted to the college level?

“I think the freshmen fit in great. I think we have some leaders in the freshmen class and we have some upperclassmen who allow them to be leaders, which is nice because the freshmen feel like they have a voice. They are pushing the upperclassmen. They are talented and earning starting roles on our team. Academically they are doing well. In the weight room I have been pleased at how they have handled it. I think they have really stepped up and we are hoping to get some big things out of our freshmen this spring.”