An Open Letter To the Girl Thinking About Quitting;
I know you. We know what you are thinking.
You are getting older now, and although you love the game, it doesn’t have that same appeal as it did when you were 12. Sno-cones and trips to Chic-Fi-Le are old hat, and no one cheers in the dugout anymore.
Maybe you can drive now, and are thinking about getting a job, or have a job.
Your school work keeps you busier than ever, you feel overwhelmed.
You cringe whenever you see the texts with practice or tournament times.
You have a boyfriend now, and lots of friends, and sometimes miss out on things with your buddies because of practice or tournaments. You are torn between your social life and your softball life – and OMG when will you have the chance to go to that cool bonfire again?
You have lost your interest or hope in playing in college, so you wonder, what’s the point of playing now?
Over the years, you have had some pretty awful and heartbreaking experiences with team mates, coaches, travel ball, school ball. (Remember that Each one has made you stronger, better, tougher, wiser.)
Someone, a coach, a parent, a friend has sucked the fun out of the game for you.
Maybe you think it’s time you ‘grow up’ and stop spending your weekends goofing off at the softball fields – you know to do something productive.
You play only because you don’t want to disappoint your family after all the time and money you have put in.
You don’t think you are good enough anymore, it seems like everyone improved and you just stayed the same.
Your friends have all quit or moved on with their lives.
You assume that if you were good enough, you would have had a college offer like some of your team-mates.
The reasons you want to quit…seem to somehow outweigh the reasons you want to play.
You are simply totally, 100% burnt out, and would rather spend your off time watching NetFlix and just hanging out.
Today, we are here to tell you something. We know you. We see you trying to navigate being a young adult while still holding on to whats left of your childhood. We see you trying to do the right thing, wanting to be a grown up and thinking about your future.
We understand how hard it is to juggle friends and boyfriends and extra curricular activities. We get it, because whether you believe it or not, every single one of us has been your age.
We know what it is like to finally have freedom, only to get the text that you have yet another place to be and show up. We understand that as your school year approaches its end, you are thinking of a lazy summer to relax before the grind of academics start back, hanging out with your friends poolside sounds like the perfect way to spend your time.
But here is the thing….
You have but one chance to be a child. Soon enough, bills and relationships and commitments and stress and adult life and things to do will build walls around your free time. You have but one time in your life to do childish things. (although softball is not childish)
You will have the rest of your life to earn money and pay bills. You wil have the rest of your life to have boyfriends, and go to bonfires. You will have the rest of your life to be a grown up. For now, we beg of you – enjoy being a child.
Enjoy having the luxury, the blessing really – to spend your time at the ballfield. Enjoy the competition, the smell of dirt, the stinky feet, the inside jokes between you and your teammates. Enjoy the early mornings and late nights. Enjoy the feelings of making a great play, and enjoy the support of having team mates that love you.
We assure you that many of the things that will make you successful inlife, are things that you have learned and that have been reinforced on the ballfield.
There will always be someone trying to suck the joy out of things. Overcome it, and never ALLOW anyone to make you stop wanting to do something you love!
There will always be tons of commitments and deadlines in your life. Your fastpitch career has prepared you for them.
There will always be choices to make, two things to decide upon. And your softball journey has empowered you with the insight to make good decisions.
There will always be two paths to take in life. For now, we urge you to take the easier path, to take the path that leads you to the ballfield.
By the time you are 25, you will be burnt out on many things. Having the energy to keep going, and the state of mind to make the decision to do all things well, and with joy – will help keep you happy in life.
Dreams, and your future are constantly changing. Just because it looks different now than how you imagined it before, only means you have grown up, but doesnt mean you should give up.
And when you question whether all the time and money is worth it – we ask you to remember why you started. We ask you to commit to your childhood, and we ask you to do the one thing that will ensure you never have regrets. And that means to keep playing. Finish the season. Finish this. Make sure you leave the ballfield, that you hang up your cleats, knowing that you have taken all the goody out of this sport.
And if you are just not sure, we ask you to find a 19, 20 or 22 year old who gave it all up too soon and see what she has to say. Because we can pretty much guarantee that she would do just about anything to trade places with you, and to be where you are so she could make a different decision and continue playing.
We say this. JUST PLAY. HAVE FUN. ENJOY THE GAME AS LONG AS YOU CAN! Give yourself another season while you have the chance. Because this too, shall pass.
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