Social Circle softball coach Michelle Broderick explains a drill to the team during practice on Friday. The Lady Redskins will be the inaugural game at Newton’s field as the two face off at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. (Staff photo: Manny Fils)
SOCIAL CIRCLE — As a first-year teacher and coach, Michelle Broderick is well aware she’s got many challenges ahead of her.
But after spending most of the last two years in Asia teaching English, Social Circle’s new softball coach is confident she’ll be able to deal with whatever comes her way.
“I wouldn’t say the challenges will be easier, but they will be different,” said Broderick, who makes her coaching debut Monday, as Social Circle hosts Monroe Area at 5 p.m. “There are so many things to get to all at once – I just moved, I just got a new job, I just bought a car. But (spending two years in Asia) was very helpful to my confidence, definitely.”
A standout pitcher and outfielder, Broderick graduated from Collins Hill in 2006 and played four years years at Piedmont College, where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in history education and missed part of her senior season while she was student teaching at Habersham Central.
After leaving Piedmont, Broderick spent a year teaching in South Korea, then came back home for a few months before traveling to Thailand to teach for another year.
“It was so great,” she said of her overseas experiences. “Korea was really different, with good and bad things. Sometimes it was hard to find something I’d like to eat, but the cultural experience was wonderful. It was neat to see and live a different way in a different culture.
“And the Koreans always seem to be ‘go-go-go,’ which was the complete opposite of Thailand, which is tropical and pretty laid back.”
When she returned stateside, Broderick began her job search in January and was alerted to the Social Circle opening by one of her former coaches at Collins Hill. She admitted surprise at landing a head coaching job right off the bat.
“I guess it helped that I played ball in college,” said Broderick, who succeeds Kimberly Lamb, who coached the Lady Redskins from 2010-2012. “The school needed a new softball coach and I had some good recommendations from references – that really helped, too.”
A year ago, Social Circle posted an overall mark of 19-5-1 and a Region 8-AA record of 4-4 and reached the first round of the Class AA state playoffs. This year’s team has but one senior, six juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen and Broderick is hopeful things will fall into place quickly.
“I’m excited and nervous at the same time,” she said. “This is a great group of girls and I’m excited to finally be able to see what they can do in game situations. And since this is my first game, I’m nervous – I know I’m going to make mistakes, but I hope to keep them at a minimum.”
Broderick, who said she’s also hustling to stay ahead in the classroom of the world geography and U.S. history classes she’s teaching, added she looks forward to the new season and school year.
“I feel good,” she said, adding that she’ll also be an assistant coach for the Social Circle swim team. “I know it’s going to be hectic, especially in this first year. I’ve had to develop lesson plans from scratch, but so far I really like it. I’ve really enjoyed talking to and getting to know my students. I think that as time goes on, I’ll find my rhythm.”