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What does softball teach us...

Dec 19, 2008
What does softball teach our players (DD's)? Besides the obvious (how to physically play the game, teamwork, etc.)

What does softball teach us as parents?

I'd like to hear different opinions on why we do this softball thing. It has to be more than just playing a game, right?
Dec 10, 2008
Well I guess I will jump in and finally post on this outstanding forum.

I have 3 DD's.They are 8 & 9(almost 10). Last year was thier first year playing.We played summer and fall ball to catch up to other girls. One DD made allstars and 2 of them have it. The other not so much.

The 2 wanted to pitch. I scouted good pitchers and found an excellent coach. Both girls have excelled in just 3 months. We have worked all winter long in basement.It was hard on me and them.

So what did they learn? If you practice anything hard enough you can achieve just about anything. Better self esteem, confidence. Which is coming thru already at local camps we went to.

Me. We grew together as Dad and DD's. One DD was very difficult to communicate with for myself and wife. That has disappeared and we have a great relationship together. That my friends makes all the nights after work that we practiced worth more than anything money can buy!
Dec 3, 2008
What does softball teach our players?

Softball doesn't know if you're the most popular kid in school or the quiet, awkward one who sits in the corner during lunch. It doesn't care if you just failed a test or if you just aced that speech for which you studied all night. Softball simply waits patiently for you to step on the field and accepts you as a participant. It doesn't matter if the team is dressed head-to-toe in Nike, or wearing t-shirts with a numbers peeling off the back, softball will reward the team which executes the best.

Softball teaches failure. In a time when participation trophies are standard, and 10th place ribbons are celebrated, softball acknowledges that a successful batter gets a hit far less than half the time. To be truly successful in softball, one learns the mental discipline to tolerate a certain level of failure. Because, in softball, it is how one deals with falling short that will eventually make them great players... and people.

Softball teaches responsibility. Ball goes up in the air with the winning run on third base in the 7th inning. Player simply reacts and calls "I got it." And, now, they have declared to everyone within ear shot that they are responsible for that ball; for the game. They either catch the ball or they do not, but they have taken responsibility for it and will accept the consequence of their action. Tiny, insignificant example? Maybe. But how often do your DD's so confidently declare their ability to do anything? These small lessons will instill in them a base of confidence and responsibility that will help inform the type of person they become.

I could go on, but I'm heading to practice. Perhaps I'll add more later...
Dec 28, 2008
Players: Most important lesson I try to teach players is to face their fears head on, tell themselves they will overcome the fears and then go and do it.

Parents: Most important lesson I try to teach parents is to pretend that they are grandparents when they are going to, at or returning from the ball field.
Feb 8, 2009
Softball gives dads and daughters a way to connect that may not be possible otherwise. Someday when your daughter is through playing, you'll remember sitting on that bucket in the backyard, or when she came up to after a game and asked you to help her with her change up. You go out back and get it working perfectly, and she says "Thanks daddy" and gives you a hug. Need I go on?
May 5, 2008
Players: how to work well with others even if you don't like them personally. How to put aside personal drama and keep moving toward a goal. How to set and achieve goals. How to be responsible (having proper equipment each day, being on time for practice, having your shirt tucked in and your jewelry off before game without being told, putting away team equipment, cleaning up and taking care of the field you play on, etc, etc, etc). How to overcome adversity. How to keep striving toward what you want even if no one else believes you can do it (overcoming odds). How to deal with failure and not lose your self esteem. Leadership. How to learn from mistakes. How to take responsibility for your own performance. That there is very little in life you have full control over - but it's very important to figure out what you can and cannot control then stop dwelling on things you can't change and focus on the things you CAN do. That life isn't always fair, but that doesn't mean you can't be happy, accomplish what you want, or be successful. That even when things aren't fair, blaming others rarely does any good (again, focus on what you can do and what you can control). How to support others, encourage them, and help them get better. That putting down others who are on the same side as you rarely helps achieve the big goal you're working toward together. That being part of something greater than yourself is very cool. That you can make a difference and have an impact even if you aren't the most talented or the most gifted or the most popular. Losing the game doesn't make you a loser. How to live with no regrets. That at the very least, you should be able to be proud of who you are as a person and how you played the game (your very best effort all the time). Winning a championship doesn't change who you are or make you a better person - you're still the same person you were before the game started two hours ago. Losing a championship doesn't make you worthless. I could probably think of more, but that's quite a bit. ;)

Parents: that we are almost always biased or at least not objective about our children. That we don't always take the best approach when we're trying to "help" them. That at some point or another we can't control everything in our kid's life. That sometimes a little fun goes a long way. That we can be a big positive influence in our kids lives if we have the right attitude and outlook.
May 7, 2008
Morris County, NJ
10 year old steps up to the plate with 2 outs in the last inning against the fierce 13 year old (12U) pitcher with the tying run on 3rd and the winning run on second and says to the coach as he whispers encouragement in her ear "Cupcake in the circle better throw me her best pitch".... whether the kid is successful in the game or not, she's overcome most of her fears.


Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
Please don't take the following as bragging. It isn't meant to be. I'm not sure my child is a pitcher and yet, she loves pitching. She practices every day and is never told to. She started including sprints and laps running when the time to tryout this year approached even knowing that she was going to make the team since she was a starter last year as a freshman and started every game. I should not have been surprised:

12 years old - pitching against a team that was undefeated and I believe from Ken's neck of the woods the NL Lightening in the Collinsville Extreme Tournament. DD is pitching and doing good. People are making fun of her since she wears "rec specks." Don't know what team they are associated with but daughter's feelings hurt. Still battling against a very well coached team with tremendous players. Losing in top of 7th inning. She comes up with 2 runners on and hits one out of the park. We have the lead. Tears forming but she is holding them. Strikes out two of three in bottom of 7th and we win tournament. Now crying outloud as she comes off of the field. I'm crying since I'm so proud of her. She bypasses everyone and comes and gives me a hug. It was a defining moment in her life.

13 playing up. Pitching. Hit by a line drive. I am a fool letting her pitch against older kids. She gets the out and then cries. She remarks as I'm apologizing, "I'm not good enough yet. I will be."

14 Years old and starting varsity in the circle. Pitching against one of the top teams in our area. Line drive to the face. She hits the ground. Picks up the ball and gets the out. It was the last out of the game and we win. Everyone rushes her. Seam cuts to her face and a lot of swelling. She remarks, "When I get good enough I won't miss my spot." The team goes out for burgers while she gets a milkshake. Goes undefeated as a freshman.

Practices everyday this year. Does not take off for Christmas. 1st day of tryouts she tears her MCL. Has been sidelined and see Doctor on Friday to see if she can play this year. She says, "Dad, nothing can stop me."

I've learned a lot about my child. While she is still very immature for a 15 year old, in so many ways, she is so mature. I'm betting someday in the business world she will be a sight to see. That is if she doesn't do what she says she wants to do now = Be a teacher and coach. I never talk about her to people in the stands and so I'm not "that dad" that you all shy away from. I hope you understand the intent of this post.