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Catching confidence in softball

January 30, 2020

The first time I heard the crack of the bat, the adrenaline and excitement I felt as a five-year-old, was enough to carry me through the next eight years… and I’m hoping forever. 

In my kindergarten year, I was young and eager and willing to do anything my best friends were doing. At the time, there was a signup sheet through Traverse Area Girls Softball that my friends and I were itching to join. Little did I know, softball would be more than a game. It gave me the confidence I have in my life today, on and off the field. 

As I continued to play, my love for the game became more about the sport itself rather than just being with my friends. By sixth grade, I knew I wanted a higher level of competition, so I started playing travel softball. The competitiveness increased and coaches demanded more of the players. There was an increase in expectations. More practice time and conditioning, including in the off season, was expected. I was taken aback by that level of intensity, but now, it is a routine. As I pushed myself harder, my level of confidence got grittier and grittier. I started calling out the plays on the field  and picking up my team when they get down.

It gave me the confidence I have in my life today, on and off the field.

When I stepped foot on the field, I was a leader.

Being a travel softball player calls for a lot of time away from my family and friends. When summertime hits and the tournaments start, I barely have any time at home with the ones I love. After every game, texts and calls fill my phone with invitations to hang out and the answer is often… “Sorry, I have softball.” As much as I like to be with my friends, my commitment to softball is stronger. 

Pushing myself to get better at something I love and being accountable as a teammate, has given me a great deal of confidence. When the crowd roars as my team walks on the field, I  know my hours of practice will show in the game. When the first pitch is thrown and the bat crosses the plate, adrenaline bubbles up inside me. I stand tall and proud every time I am on the field, knowing I’m in control. I play softball with pride and the kind of swag that never happens anywhere else. 

The game of softball has given me so much. I now carry the grit off the field and am willing to try new things, push myself in school, be a trusted friend, respectful daughter, and supporting sister. This confidence I have as I face my everyday life is directly a result of the game. Softball is the outlet, but I have the ability. I can change the outcome of the game and I can change the outcome of my life. IIf I work and stay dedicated and focused, the sky’s the limit.

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