The Heart for the Game
“Okay ladies, all the hard work you have put in for the last eight years is showing right here, right now. Let’s see the heart you all have for this sport, go out there and give it your all. All we need is three outs to end this ball game, and you can do it if you play together as a team like you have all week.” This was the motivational talk our coach for competitive softball gave our team before we walked out on the fields in Panama City, Florida.
For the last eight years I have spent countless hours getting in shape and learning the fundamental plays of softball. I blew off friends to spend my time at the fields, my summer vacations were no longer sight-seeing trips; but out of town and state trips to play in ball tournaments. The sprints, the duck-walks, the foul poles, all got me ready, both mentally and physically, for this extravagant, once-in-a-lifetime event. I could never be the athlete I am today without putting in every bit of effort I had to always get better. If I didn’t train hard enough and push myself over the edge I would never be able to handle the pressure that comes with being on that field or the endurance it takes to make it through at least seven innings, but there is a chance that a game can go more. The longer the game the harder it is to stay mentally tough along with finding the strength in my body to keep going.
Mentally I have to power, or push, through every distraction there is. From screaming family members to the cheering of my opponent; from umpires not calling balls and strikes correctly to making bad judgment calls in the field; from striking out to hitting one over the fence. If I, mentally, was not capable to push through these factors, plus many more, than I would not be where I am now. I have been through my share of teams, meaning I have also had various styles of coaching. Even through all these different coaches they all seemed to have taught me one very important lesson: if you give...