Softball Coach Ken Gal

Ken Gal_RGB

When did you start playing softball?

I probably started playing softball [at] five or six.

Why do you love coaching and playing?

Coaching is a different kind of experience than playing. I think they are similar in that both are pleasant endeavors. With coaching, it’s about seeing the players growing and developing and learning new things. Playing, of course, is your own accomplishments.

What made you want to coach at Marlborough?

I have a high regard for the school itself. The academic rigor is very, very high; it’s a different kind of student athlete. I think that the girls that play athletics at Marlborough are a cut above the traditional athlete you coach.

How has the team been doing this year?

We’re young, and I think we’ve had our fair share of challenges. I hope, and I think, we are progressing…many sports are a game of inches. I think softball is probably a game of millimeters. If the ball strikes the bat on a certain place, on a certain angle, on a certain swing, it’s a pop up. If it is moved a millimeter down the barrel of the bat, then it is potentially a home run. We’ve had some misfortune, a little unluckiness in the last few games. But for the most part, I feel like our progression and our trajectory is in the right place.

What are your goals for the team?

The goals are always the same. You always want to be competitive every single game, and you want to make sure the girls have a fun, positive experience, and they get a sense of accomplishment and personal growth. Several of the girls want to play at the next level, and you hope that their Marlborough softball experience provides that foundation and base.

    How do you try to move the girls beyond feeling down about losing a game? Has there been any advice or coaching that you think has been effective?

Losing isn’t fun, but it’s an almost necessary part of the “journey.” Losing contributes to personal growth. If losing provides valuable lessons, I have no issues with losing.  As a team, we often talk about the importance of learning and how that will serve us well over time.

At the end of this season, what do you want to improve for next year?  Do you have any off-season advice to players?

To improve at almost anything, it takes hard work and lots of REPS!  I hope the girls will find the time this summer to either play travel softball or at least carve out the time to go to the batting cages and take a few hundred swings.   The more reps you have in the off season, the better prepared you’ll be for the season.

How has coaching Marlborough been different from coaching other teams? What makes Marlborough teams special? How do you respond when girls have so much work and can’t dedicate enough time to softball?

Marlborough girls understand the value of hard work and commitment.  They are over-achievers.  Finding time for athletics and school work is a constant juggle. It’s a lot of pressure.  I try to be supportive as they try to fit everything into their over-scheduled lives. π