By Kaie Quigley– 1851 Staff
Sarah Woodside is the new head softball coach at Lasell University. Woodside was a graduate of Lasell in 2007 and played outfield for the Lasers while obtaining a degree in Psychology. She coached at Wayland High school for five years prior to her hire at Lasell this summer.
Q: Tell us a little bit about where you grew up. What was the culture around softball?
A: “I grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts, which is about 20 minutes north of here. When I was growing up, there was no softball program. There was a baseball Babe Ruth program and all the girls started in t-ball and went onto baseball. My dad coached my brother in baseball, and he recognized that there was nowhere for his three daughters to go who are also interested in playing ball. My father sat on the board for the Babe Ruth League and said we need a softball team or softball program. Turns out it was huge, all the girls wanted to play and they wanted to be able to play like the boys. That’s where I got my start when I was six years old.”
Q: How did softball influence your life?
A: “I think my dad being my coach started my passion for coaching even from a young age. I was really part of a team and you felt that camaraderie and that support and encouragement from your team. And while I played other sports and loved other sports, softball came more naturally for me and that’s when I truly recognized that I wanted to [pursue softball].”
Q: In an article, Kristy Walters said that you had a strong belief in balancing athletics and academics. What can you say about that?”
A: “I played Division III because I wanted to graduate with a knowledge of what I was going to do for my career. I think once you get into higher divisions you don’t necessarily get the education that you want, or you miss out on a lot of your education because you’re so dedicated to sports. When I was hired, I felt that the academic piece needed to be first and foremost. I want my players to know that you can get your education, but still play sports that you love.”
Q: In that same article, Walters was also talking about your competitive nature. Can you expand on that?
A: “I always want to do better, so I’m always educating myself. I’m always taking courses on coaching. I’m going to conferences so I can learn how they do things at other levels or at other schools. So, I feel like my competitive nature comes from the fact that I want to be the best coach. Not necessarily with the most wins, more so that I want to have a team that respects me, that wants to be here and that wants to play for me.”
Q: You have a degree in psychology and experience in therapy. Do you think any of that applies to coaching?
A: “I believe because of my experience in that line of work and my education, I can interact with people a little bit differently. I think I can understand what motivates someone and what makes them feel like they’re being listened to and they’re being understood which is an important part of being an athlete. You want to feel like coaches are respecting you and listening to what you have to say while teaching you at the same time.”
Q: Is there a certain idea or certain quote that you live by?
A: “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary by Vince Lombardi. That was said to me my very first day of my freshman year on the varsity team that has always stuck with me. You don’t get to have success unless you put in the hard work. That has just always been something that I try and live my entire life by.”