A Day in the Life of a Coach: Gina Carbonatto
Gina Carbonatto, most commonly known as “Coach Carbs,” is Pacific softball’s assistant coach and coincidentally an alumna of both Pacific and the softball program. Easily the most humble three-time All-American athlete I’ve met, Coach Carbs reveals a typical day for her in Pacific softball and what it’s truly like coaching at her alma mater.
What is a typical day like for you?
“I like to work out before I get to work, whether I go to the gym or whether I go for a run. I wake up between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., depends on the day. Breakfast every day. Cereal usually, or yogurt or eggs. I like to have tea in the morning. If I don’t get my tea at home, then I’ll drink it when I get to work. I’m out of the house by 8:30 a.m.; get a workout in, shower and then I’m off to work by usually 9:30 a.m.
A typical day, I have about an hour before I go out to the field. Within the first hour, we’ll meet as a group of coaches, and we’ll plan practice, talk about recruiting or meet about scheduling. Between 10 and 11 a.m. is usually our time as coaches to touch base with one another. When we’re not in an actual sit-down meeting, I’ll take care of emails at that time, I’ll take care of travel arrangements or any recruiting responsibilities, such as scheduling hotels, buying flights, responding to recruits via text messages, emails, calling travel ball coaches, high school coaches or teachers. That will all happen within that first hour.
Starting at about 11 a.m., I go down to the field for small group hitting sessions, usually about two to three hours of hitting per day prior to practice in small groups. There’s usually about an hour gap between hitting and practice where I come back and have about an hour in the office. In that time, I’ll write up any practice plans we have and upload it to TeamSynced [team communication software], so the players can look at what they’re doing for the day. A few days a week, we have open hitting sessions, so I go back out to the cages to work with any hitters that want to work extra. Practice starts anywhere between 3 to 3:30 p.m. usually.
Practice will last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours, depending on what we need to get accomplished for the day. Practice ends, and I have to either drag the field or chat with the other coaches for a little bit before we leave, and that is typically between 5:30 and 6 p.m. If I had to do something, I’m usually out of here by no later than 7 p.m., and at that point either I will go home and make dinner or try to go see some friends, coworkers, peers, etc. I like to go to trivia night, and I’m a board game geek. Tuesdays are usually board game nights with my friends.
I usually like to get some reading in at night. Ideally, I’m asleep by 10:30 p.m.; chances are it’s closer to 11:30 p.m. It depends on how long board games take, or even pool! I also like to play pool with friends.”
It sounds like you like to do a lot of competitive things…
“I like to be in competition, but I’m not ultra-competitive.”
Are you ultra-competitive on the softball field?
“No. I like the process. Ideally, we win every game, I prepare to win every game, I expect to win every game, but as long as we’re learning and getting better, then I think winning takes care of itself. I’m a big process person. I enjoy the moment, the fun piece.”
What is your favorite part about being back at your alma mater?
“There’s no school that I care about more with Pacific. I got to win a national championship with University of Washington in 2009 as an assistant coach, and I love University of Washington; it has a piece of my heart. However, when it comes to a passion for success… I burn for Pacific to do well.”
What is the hardest part of your position?
“The piece of being a coach and not a player that is a lot harder is you can’t actually do it for them. So it’s about preparing them to do it. And when they’re not succeeding in their preparation, that means I need to do a better job, so I take that harder.
Work/life balance, as being a college softball coach is pretty challenging.”
What’s your favorite coaching moment?
“I have two favorite coaching moments. One was at University of Washington, and one was at Pacific. Winning a national championship at ‘UDUB’ was one of my favorite coaching moments. It’s just one of those things where you’re like ‘Wow! That really happened.’ You prepare for it, but the feeling just overtakes you. Then, this year beating LSU at LSU. Beating LSU at LSU was cool because there were 2,000 fans there, and 1,880 of them wanted LSU to win. We had our 20 fans in a small piece of the stands that were rooting for Pacific.
“The game doesn’t know who is supposed to win; you have to play the game.”
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