My daughter just finished her first season of Softball. It was a great season with many ups and downs. As a parent, I realized I am very emotional when it comes to my girl being on the field. I feel like positive coaching is a must. I saw so many coaches yell at their girls during and after plays on the field. It boggled my mind that they didn’t see the instant change in the girls. No the girls did not improve. In fact, they got worse. You could see sad faces, sometimes tears and hunched shoulders. All the weight of winning was suddenly on their 8 year old shoulders.
But I saw positive coaches too. Coaches that yelled out, Awesome throw, even when the little girl didn’t come close to getting the ball to first base for the out. These coaches were brilliant and I thought, you must have amazing marriages because clearly you understand that yelling at women (or little girls) is not a motivator.
My daughter broke her finger at school during the second week of games. She was so disappointed but the rainy weather gave her just the break she needed. My mother sewed her glove together so that her fingers could stay taped and she wore this glove inside her mit. I was so impressed with how hard core she was! She was not going to let anything as small as a broken finger slow her down.
Throughout the season, all the girls improved. Their improved batting, catching, throwing and teamwork were truly inspiring to watch. To see their smiles when they hit a grand slam, threw the ball directly into the first base girl’s glove for an out or even stopping a grounder was worth all the frustration that some of the games gave us.
There were times we felt like the umps and the league president were waiting for the other team to win so they could end the tournament game. During the championship game, we were told that if we had to play two games, each team would get a home team spot.
The opposing team began the first game as home team. We beat them, 12-7. In between games, the league president came up to our coaches to let them know that the decision had changed, we would not be home. There would be a coin toss. We lost the toss. The opposing team got home team advantage again. Our girls knew something had happened that wasn’t right. You could see it in their faces as they went from getting ready to be in the field to batting. I was so mad for them. They played hard to win that game and they deserved an honest finish to the championship. But in the end, they didn’t get it and they knew from the beginning of the second game, that they weren’t going to be allowed to win.
Even though the time limit had run out on the final Championship game and we were winning, the game just kept going and going. In fact, I heard the umpire say 9 minutes left. Then 9 minutes later his timer went off. When that inning was over, we were in the lead by 3. We won that Championship fair and square. But ultimately we were forced to play another inning and our exhausted girls finally gave in and lost by 1. In fact, after the game, the president who I would like to call so many ugly names, walked up to my husband acting surprised that we had won and said, “I think everybody thought this was going to be a one game and done kind of night.” Did I mention he sat on the opposing side’s bleachers the entire evening?
I’ll never know if its my bias as a parent or if living in the south brings “good ol’ boy politics” to the softball fields, but what I do know is that our girls played hard, they played honest and at the end of the season we had a team of 12 best friends who became Champions!! They will always be tournament champs to me.
This new wall art was designed for one of those girls. It’s her 9th birthday today and this is my way of saying, you are a rockstar!! She hit a grand slam by the way! If you read all the way to the end, I thank you with this coupon code to save $3 off this new print, use code SOFTBALL. And to my little catcher, I love you baby girl.