My daughter, Sophia, joined the Fireballs 14U girls fastpitch softball team this spring so; I’ve been watching a lot of ball games. They have a tournament almost every weekend and practice twice a week. Through it all, I’ve learned a great deal about fastpitch softball and have gleaned a ton of tips about coaching, teamwork and practice. However, the most important thing I’ve been reminded about is the need for FUN.
The Fireballs are what is referred to as a “B” team, meaning they are less experienced than “A” teams. Most of the girls on the team are playing competitive ball for only their first or second year. Their coaches are very patient, extremely funny and extraordinarily positive. The girls come from a variety of towns around the area and range from 12 to 14 years of age. It was only few weeks ago they met each other, yet they are now a close bunch.
When the girls aren’t on the field, they are busy eating, laughing, texting, sharing, conversing and playing. When they are on the field they dawn their “game” faces which are frequently broken with lots of smiles, chuckles, frowns, cheers and an occasional tear. Prior to last week’s tournament, they had been on a 10 game losing streak which was due to the fact they had been playing top “A” teams in open tournaments. While the girls weren’t happy with the losses, their spirits were up knowing they were getting better and playing competitive games despite being over matched.
Last weekend the coaches pulled the team out of another open tournament and put them in a “B” tournament so they could face teams more on par with them. The Fireballs went on a terror winning 5 games in a row. With each win their confidence grew as well as their smiles. Few things are as fun as winning and the Fireballs had a blast!
I left the field reminded of the importance of putting people into a position where they can be successful, where they can experience a win, so that their confidence can grow and so they can have fun. We all like to win. We all find it fun irregardless of our age or place in the world.
Who have you set up to win? When have you had the most fun winning? Doesn’t winning feel better after you’ve struggled?