Growing up on Long Island in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Breanne Nasti (BA ’04) didn’t play softball. She played baseball, looking for the toughest competition she could find. This head-on approach to challenges has stayed with Nasti throughout her career as a player and a coach.
The former Bulls outfielder, who holds numerous batting records at UB and was a 2012 UB Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, is now the head coach and assistant athletic director at Adelphi University on Long Island. Last season, Nasti’s Panthers competed in the Women’s College World Series for the first time in the program’s Division II history.
It hasn’t been a rose-petal-strewn path to success. After enduring a couple sub-par coaching gigs—“If I have to fundraise to feed my team and pay umpires, that’s not a place where I want to be,” she says—she went back to school for her master’s in sports administration from Fresno State. She wrote a 200-page thesis, which was not required, in order to prepare herself in case she ever decides to pursue a PhD.
Nasti now works to instill that same mental toughness in her players, with a coaching philosophy that values process over results.
“Results-oriented people don’t know how to feel good about a 1-for-4 day,” says Nasti. “They don’t know how to feel good about playing really well and losing. In our sport, you can do everything right and have things not go your way.”
Anyone can relate to that feeling. We usually call it “defeat.” But if one were to take Nasti’s approach as a guide, the trick is to accept it as a challenge, and dig back in.