WINTALITY 402: Believing you will Succeed

I interrupt the regularly scheduled post on Wintality to bring you some important, tragic news that Crystl Bustos has an irreversible mental disorder. I’ve met with several leading psychologists around the world to discuss her case and the term they use starts with a “C” …. Give me a second and let me flip through my notes … oh here it is …


It’s such a shame because she’s a very healthy woman apart from this illness. Apparently from talking to others who’ve known her longer than I have, she’s had this condition since she was a teenager. It’s a pretty rare disease that tends to alienate those who have it. She just believes in her mind that she’s playing a different game than everyone else. She believes she’s going to make any play, or hit any pitch. I should rephrase that last part … she believes she’s going to absolutely destroy any pitch that is thrown.

The good news for you is that you don’t have to worry about catching this disorder by accident. That just can’t happen. In order to come down with confidence you have to actually go out and work hard for it. You have to put in the kind of effort that Crystl does. On the recent Softball Clinic Cruise Crystl mentioned that her hitting warmup for the 2008 Gold Medal game was over 3 hours. Not 3 minutes. Not 3 good hits. Not 3 buckets. 3 hours. She walks to the plate, believing she is the best hitter in the world because she prepares herself to walk to the plate believing that.

Many of you have hundreds of dollars worth of bats in your bat bags. How many of you take the time to use those bats with a  $20 batting tee and $20 worth of waffle balls so that when you walk to the plate you believe in your mind that you will hit? Not hope to hit. Not dream of a good pitch. Not pray to avoid striking out. I’m talking about you’ve hit so many balls throughout the course of the week, the month, the season that you “KNOW” there is no pitch that can be thrown at you that you can’t drive.

How many of you have sore chests/throats/arms from practicing hard hit hops so much, so you beg for the ball to be hit to you because you “KNOW” you will make the play?

How many of you have sore legs from practicing your leadoffs so much so that you “KNOW” you will have the needed jump in order to score that winning run in ITB?

Confidence isn’t genetic.

Confidence isn’t taught.

Confidence isn’t read about.

Confidence. Real confidence. The kind that Crystl Bustos exudes from every fiber of her being, comes from putting in the time outside of the game, preparing yourself mentally and physically so that you can’t fail. So that you walk to the plate, sprint onto the field, explode off the base knowing you are the best. That you will succeed.

I guess in the end. After all of the humor. After making up so many phrases. These 8 posts, that all started as a result of a single post on Facebook by the 2011 Auburn Tigers softball team, come down to this one word. Confidence. So I shall wrap up in the way I started

[Wintality] – win-tal-i-ty – noun; The act of believing you will succeed.

Update: April, 2024

Crystl works selflessly and tirelessly traveling the country to try and inspire ball players. While she can’t sneeze on them and have them come down with CONFIDENCE, the way she pours into them makes them want to do the work I mentioned. Since meeting Crystl and working hard I’m happy to say I’ve seen Hannah develop CONFIDENCE. The most impressive moment for me came last year when walking up to the plate to face the biggest, tallest, most muscular, fastest throwing pitcher her team had ever faced.

She went through her same walkup routine. Surveyed where fielders were positioned. Thought through what she wanted to accomplish. Took a tall deep breath. Stepped into the box. Attacked the pitcher, got a really nice hit and fired her team up. She told me just last week at 1 to 1 “head check” dinner, that she hits SOFTBALLS. That all pitchers throw the same SOFTBALL. And speed, movement doesn’t matter. That she’s a HITTER. 

Bragging moment for a proud “Pops?” Sure. But also a teaching moment for all of you. Do the work, and you will build the CONFIDENCE


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