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Life Lessons Learned on the Softball Field

March 10, 2014

As I look back on the days that I spent on the softball field I can’t help but realize that I was learning so much more than how to play the game.  Sure, the girls are learning the basics of the game but here are some other lessons you may or may not have realized the players are picking up along the way:

1. Sportsmanship

Ok, maybe this one was obvious but it’s also apparent that some players have a harder time with this than others.  From winning and losing to striking out without pitching a fit, we all have to learn that sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on.

2. Leadership

Certainly some kids are natural leaders but the softball field has a way of bringing it out even in those who are normally followers.  The veterans just seem to set the standard for new players and lead by example

3. It’s ok to fail

You struck out at your last at bat?  That’s ok you’ve just left room for the girl on deck to take care of that RBI for you and you’ll get another chance in a few innings.  That line drive got passed you?  Shake it off and get the next out.  We’ve learned not to let our mistakes define us as individual players or as a team.

4. How to accept criticism

We’re all human and we’re going to mistakes.  The field is a great place to learn what we’re not doing well and how we can get better.  We all know the old adage, practice makes perfect.  Well, maybe not perfect but it does make for marked improvement.  And it certainly never hurt anyone to have someone (a coach or teacher) care about us enough to push us beyond what we thought was possible.

5. Teamwork

Again, a little obvious but in softball you can’t do it all by yourself.  It takes the whole team to win or lose the game and we learn to work together to improve as a whole.  And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a whole slew of sisters on your side.

6. To be Encouragers/Cheerleaders

We’re not all born with a natural ability.  For some of us it involves determination and dedication.  Especially with new/young players we learn to take them under our wing and guide them and tell them that they can do it.  And no game is complete without the chants of the players on the sideline.  Is there really such a thing as a quiet softball team?

7. Life is not fair

We learn that life isn’t fair through multiple examples.  Sometimes it’s being cut from the team after working our butts off to get there in the first place.  Sometimes it’s in a lousy call from an umpire.  Regardless of the reason, players learn that life isn’t always fair but we have the tools to pick up the pieces and move on.

8. To do what you love

Perhaps the best lesson of all, we play the game because we love it!  Yes, sometimes it can test us and push us to our limits but there’s just nothing like the call of the diamond to reign us back in every time.

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