6 LESSONS For Softball Parents/Players/Coaches FROM THE WCWS!
Chances are high, you’ve been watching the WCWS, cheering on your favorite team and thoroughly enjoying the tons of airtime (Thank YOU ESPN), and energy that fast-pitch brings to this world. Wow! What an amazing sport.
We also hope that you noticed a few other things along the way.
Let’s preface this by saying that all the little girls playing softball down in the trenches right now, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of them are dreaming of being on the big-screen one day, playing for one of these big collegiate teams! They see role models in these girls.
Let’s also agree that you are seeing perhaps some of the BEST athletes, BEST coaches, and BEST teams – comprised of the BEST talent from around the United States. Agreed, right?
Now…let’s take a look at some of the things that these games, played and coached by what we agreed were the BEST players and coaches – can teach us about softball!
1. Every team, every player – makes ERRORS! No one and we mean no one is perfect. In fact, games are won and lost on errrors, and it’s very rare that you see an error-less game – even by the BEST coached teams made up of the BEST players! Errors. They happen. Errors are proof that everybody is a work in progress, that everyone has more to learn.
What matters MOST is WHAT YOU DO after the error. If you are gonna let a bad 5 seconds turn into a bad day at the field, then you (meaning coach or player or parent) have HEAD problems rather than skill problems. Errors happen. To everyone. Sure, they stink…sometimes they lose games for a team – but let’s remember the games you have watched during the WCWS before we get all upset about a 8 year old (who still needs help tying their shoes) making an error on the field.
2. It’s never too late for a comeback! Girls, listen up! We see you out there with your heads hung low when you get behind early in a game. We see the shrugged shoulders, the solemn dugout, the looks of defeat! We see the looks of disgust on coaches faces and the frustration of the parents in the stands! And we say STOP IT! BELIEVE in yourself and your TEAM! COMMIT to the STANDARD! Always be LED BY YOUR FAITH RATHER THAN YOUR FEAR! You were BORN to be GREAT!
Last night social media was blaze with comments, tweets, pins, and posts celebrating OU as the winner of the game. People saying Auburn just didnt have it. They counted them out too early. Because those girls BELIEVE, and those girls have HEART and those girls – and we mean ALL OF THEM playing in the WCWS not just Auburn and Oklahoma have HEART! They aren’t about to give up on their dreams, or their commitment to one another, or their team! Nope. They just WORK HARDER! We have seen this game in and game out throughout the entire World Series.
You have to WANT IT and WORK FOR IT! Nothing in this life, including the game of softball will be given to you without struggle, or sacrifice or work. If it’s too easy – then you aren’t playing hard enough. Winning SHOULD be hard. Winning takes more than just skill!
It takes HEART! And mostly it takes BELIEVING IN YOURSELF! So please – STOP counting yourself out so early in the game. Believe!
3. Softball is a LOUD GAME, that includes lots of noise, and cheering! If you don’t like cheering – or think it’s mean or rude, get over it already! It can and should be done with sportsmanship, but it is a HUGE part of softball as we hope you have noticed during the WCWS! Stop whining about a team cheering too loud, or chanting what you think are rude cheers and just make sure your team is cheering LOUDER so you don’t have to hear them. ENERGY matters. Energy improves momentum. Energy comes from having fun in the dugout! A quiet, solemn dugout is not only boring, but a sign that something is wrong with your team.
4. Outfielders matter. They save games. They are the bomb diggity! Games are won and lost in the outfield. Seriously, had Tiffany Howard NOT caught that ball, (which was no easy catch) the Emily Carosone would likely have NEVER made it to the plate to hit the walk-off home-run! She saved the GAME and their season! If your daughter is in the outfield, it means SHE IS AN ADEPT ATHLETE! Throughout the WCWS, outfielders have been critical to the wins and the losses.
Let’s PLEASE once and for all put the stigma that the outfield is a bad place to be for rest! Stop whining about your daughter playing outfield! It is one of the THE most important positions on the field!
5. You never know what is going to happen on the softball field. Each day, each game, each tournament is a journey! No one expected Florida to be beat out early by Georgia. Is Coach Tim Walton suddenly a crappy coach? What about UCLA. They lost too. Is Coach Perez unworthy?
No on expected Auburn to come back last night. There have been a lot of upsets. Just like you may lose to a team you have never lost to before. Some days your team is ON, and other days your team is OFF. You roll with it. Florida doesn’t suddenly suck eggs because they lost a game, right? Coaches aren’t automatically bad.
One of the truths in softball is that there will be a WINNER and a LOSER! Far too many people are only happy with the WINS! But those wins oftentimes comes from knowing how to lose. We see too many parents who go all crazy when their daughters travel team loses or plays poorly during a tournament. Lets try to keep some better perspective in our own lives and on our own teams.
6. PARENTS MATTER! We think its wonderful, and amazing and just a beautiful thing to see the cameras pan out to the stands and show the parents of these players! Every game! Parents matter! Sports parents get a bad rep sometimes, but the truth is that they have to be just as dedicated as the player is and no coach, or team will every work if they don’t have parents working behind the scenes. From 8U on up – you have to have parents that believe in the dream, that are willing to COMMIT! Sure, we are all emotional and a little irrational at times. But PARENTS MATTER!