AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 24

FLYING LIFE
Put me in, coach
The sport that taught me how to fly
BY NATALIE BINGHAM HOOVER
WHEN I FIRST signed up to coach my 9-year-old's softball team, I did
it for one reason: I grew up loving the sport and was lucky enough
to play all the way through college. So, I wanted to make sure my
daughter and her friends got the same experience. I wasn't going
to be one of those coaches who only cared about winning. I wanted
to make sure these girls knew that sports are a blast. As a side note,
winning is fun, so if we could find a way to have a lot of fun and
also win, then that was my goal for the season.
Because my daughter is left-handed and blessed with an
extraordinarily strong will (God help me!), I knew pitching
would be a good fit for her, so we started sending her for lessons
once or twice a week to get ready for the season. But that
pitching coach was so tough and demanding that I wondered if
we were doing the right thing. Ellie is only 9 years old, and this
coach is pushing for 100-percent focus every pitch, telling her
I remember that I am not coaching a softball team.
I am coaching the next generation's doctors and
pilots, mothers and leaders.
she can do better, telling her to try harder. Is it too much? Will
this sort of atmosphere suck all the life out of the sport for her?
That concern resurfaced in my mind last week, when I was
conducting an instrument checkride in the Nashville, Tennessee,
area and flew over a softball complex on our way to shoot the
RNAV Runway 1 approach into Lebanon (M54). When the applicant
broke out of " the clouds " at minimums, we were over a
highway with semi-trucks passing what felt like two feet underneath
us, then past a displaced threshold for a landing. He did a
fantastic job and managed to fly a perfect glideslope all the way
to touchdown. That approach required 100-percent focus if it
was to be done safely. There was no room for a lapse in attention.
Maybe what we're asking Ellie to do is not so bad after all,
because at some point, she's going to need that ability to focus
on her goals, whether she's shooting an instrument approach
to minimums or making a case for her client in a courtroom or
teaching a classroom full of 30 rowdy kindergartners. I wonder
just how much of what I learned down on that ball field prepared
me for what I do every day in an airplane.
24
AOPA PILOT / August 2021
Walking out on the field for my daughter's first practice, I
knew in an instant that my goals for the season had been shortsighted.
Feeling the red infield dust on my skin, the stitched seam
of the ball on my fingertips, surrounded by a team of hopeful
young women-well, that felt like coming home. Suddenly, the
clock was rolled back and I was out there with my own teammates
again, putting in long hours to hone our hitting skills so
we could compete in the next tournament. What kind of pilot
would I be if we hadn't walked off the field victorious? Would
I have known that consistent hard work pays off when dealing
with the challenge of airline pilot training? Or what if I had never
learned that when you strike out, you have to forget about it and
move on so you can get a hit the next time? Would I have bounced
back after I failed that checkride and be working as a designated
examiner today?
Maybe it wasn't a ball field for you; maybe it was a stage and
a part in the school production or learning to play the drums so
you could play in the church band. Or was it a body shop job that
gave you the confidence to understand how mechanical things
work? Whatever it was, I'm guessing you wouldn't be flying airplanes
without those experiences that molded you and made
you stronger.
Now I have a new goal when I'm out there coaching the sport
that shaped so much of who I have become: I remember that I am
not coaching a softball team. I am coaching the next generation's
doctors and pilots, mothers and leaders. So, when I ask my second
baseman to slide into home to get under a tag and she backs
off because she's scared it will hurt, I'm going to encourage her
to keep trying until she gets past that fear. And when my center
fielder isn't strong enough to throw the ball all the way home, I'm
going to make her keep working until one day she can throw out a
runner with accuracy. Ellie and her pitching coach have had some
success, by the way. She struck out eight batters at last weekend's
tournament and walked off the field with a newly found confidence.
Will that confidence
carry her through pilot training
one day and into a NASA
spacecraft bound for new
horizons? Well, this mama
can continue to dream....
NATALIE BINGHAM
HOOVER is a CFI, CFII,
and multiengine instructor
with more than 3,000 hours
of dual given.

AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - BB1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - BB2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 107
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot0308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com