DD had a rough weekend in the circle. I know this sounds horrible, but I am sort of glad it happened. She had a tremendous fall season thus far. She had the opportunity to play 18U Gold for a few tournaments. Her confidence was brimming. To be honest, she got a little cocky. So the last couple weeks leading up to this tournament, she has been mailing in her workouts. Cutting her pitching workouts short, not giving full effort, taking a few extra days off... We normally turn the intensity way up the week leading up to a big event. It didn't happen this time. I kept telling her she was not getting enough work in. So to say the least, she was not as prepared as she normally would be. On the flip side, the teams other top pitcher was working hard and getting ready for the tournament. First game got split between the two pitchers and she struggled a bit. No runs allowed, but I could tell she wasn't sharp. Day two, other pitcher wins the first game and pitched a gem. DD gets the ball for next game. Again she struggled. Pitches were flat and over the plate. She got smacked for 4 runs in 3 innings. Took her out of the circle and she took the loss. Next game went to the third pitcher and she threw well. Day 3 came around and DD thought she was getting the ball for the first game. She never got the ball. Two final games went to the other two pitchers. The coach has always said he would ride the hot pitchers, and this was the first time it wasn't my DD. She was struggling holding it together. She played all day at 1b, and had a good day defensively. I could tell she wanted me to tell her I thought she should have started a game or gotten some innings. I resisted the temptation to coddle her and explained that the coach was honest from day 1 and always said the best players play. After the day was over, she came to me with tears welling up and said she was going to work her butt off to get back in the circle and never lose the spot again. I am certain she will get many more opportunities to prove herself. In a way, I am a little greatful this happened. I think she needed a reality check and to be brought down to earth a bit. Should inspire some quality work outs in the coming weeks. Only time will tell.