Before every practice and home game, the Saints gather around home plate and place softballs on top to form a pyramid. Before the season, each player is given a softball and writes one word on the sweet spot that describes a personal attribute they wish to see in the team. Players can also decorate their ball with other motivational quotes or symbols. Saints head coach Aaron Jackson borrowed the idea from Jon Gordon's book The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate. The pyramid shape symbolizes the team coming together.
"As a team we rest on one another," Allison Bayer said. "We believe in one another. They believe in us. It resembles the strength we have as a team versus one ball rolling around."
Carroll players use the softballs to loosen up their arms before practice and games. TJ Rucker's one word is"Embrace", which is for her team, but also her mother, who passed away a couple of years ago.
"I was not embracing the little things within my life," Rucker said. "This year, I wanted to make sure that every single day, every single moment that I took that I made sure that I took it head on."
Allison Bayer chose the word: Overcome. She says it represents her current mindset, after struggling with motivation, self-confidence and her Christian walk.
"Me and God against the world," Bayer said. "There is nothing like it. I actually haven't been this spiritually motivated in the last couple of years I played. I think this has been a year like none other. Looking at this every day before our practice just reminds me to have integrity in Christ, to be who I am on and off the field and show the love of God through my teammates through me."
Brittany Hogan wrote a quote from her father, Jim Hogan, who coaches the offensive line for Carroll's football team.
"I get advice whether I want it or not," Hogan said. "One thing he told was, 'The thing about athletics is you get can get a little frustrated, but keep pushing forward and be a good teammate and encourage others to play hard.' That's something I share with the team whenever we are getting down. It's ok to get down, but continue to be a good teammate."