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The Daily Wildcat

 

Miller speaks to UA softball about playing as a team

Courtesy+of+Arizona+SoftballArizona+mens+basketball+coach+Sean+Miller+chats+with+the+Arizona+softball+team+in+Lapan+Family+Center+at+Hillenbrand+Stadium+on+Tuesday.+Miller+spoke+about+playing+as+a+team+and+honoring+the+process+throughout+a+season.

Courtesy of Arizona Softball

Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller chats with the Arizona softball team in Lapan Family Center at Hillenbrand Stadium on Tuesday. Miller spoke about playing as a team and honoring the process throughout a season.

Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller held his weekly press conference with the media on Tuesday around 1:40 p.m. Miller spoke to the media for about 17 minutes before rushing out of the press conference. Little did anyone know where Miller would be headed to next. 

Much to the shock of those in attendance, Miller arrived at Hillenbrand Stadium in a golf cart about 10 minutes after his press conference ended to give a talk to the No. 13 Arizona softball team before its practice. 

According to softball players, there was no inclination that Miller would be coming to give a talk before practice. 

“I didn’t know at all,” Arizona outfielder Eva Watson said. “I honestly had no idea who pulled up. Everyone was freaking out, and I’m in the outfield shagging balls going, ‘Oh, who is that guy?’ They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s Sean Miller.’ It was awesome having him come in here and talk. It was a great surprise.” 

Watson added that the general message from Miller was to stay together as a team, an issue that the men’s basketball team has dealt with at times. 

“He really applied some of the things they do in basketball to our sport as well and really talked about [how] it’s difficult, obviously in basketball, to make it a team sport,” Watson said. “There’s so many guys that are trying to make it pro. Obviously here, same thing happens — we’re trying to be All-Americans.” 

Miller has often preached his message of honoring the process and taking care of the team aspect first and foremost, a topic he shared with the softball team. 

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in batting averages,” Watson said. “He was telling us the most important thing is to play the team sport, and the individual things will just happen naturally.”

While softball may be far off from basketball, having Miller talk to the team was something that Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea said will hopefully help the team for the rest of the season. 

“He just talked about the process and effort and about being a good team,” Candrea said. “He had a very good message.” 

As the softball team goes through a stretch of seven games in five days, with five of those games coming on the road against top-level competition, Candrea’s squad would do well to heed Miller’s words and honor the process. 

As Miller said earlier in the day during his basketball press conference, “Everybody in our conference can beat us.” In Pac-12 softball, that message holds even more weight than in Pac-12 basketball. 

Pac-12 conference play will soon be underway and the real meat of the season will be upon the Wildcats. Honoring the process could be what brings National Championship number nine to Arizona this season.

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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